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* S/ie looks like Corinne." 


^entlefnans Magasine 



Volume CCXLI. ^.cy ->> 


Edited by SYLVAN US URBAN, Gentleman 

Ifonbon , 



All rights reserved 




Alarcon. By James Mew 319 

Asparagus. By W. Collktt-Sandars 57 

Basque and other Legends. By David Fitzgerald . . . 286 

Charles Surface. By Dutton Cook 621 

Dundonald, The Case of Lord. By ARTHUR Arnold . . . 606 

Food, The Use and Abuse of. By Richard A. PROCTOR . . 212 
Genesis of Life, The. By Andrew Wilson, Ph.D. . . .541 

Giants, On. By ANDREW WiLSON, Ph.D 335 

Gordon's, Colonel, Expedition to the Upper Nile Regions. By 

Frederick A. Edwards 197 

Gorilla and other Apes, The. By Richard A. Proctor . . 413 

Holbein, Hans, at his Easel. By Charles Pebody . . , 364 
Horace, a Quartet from. By Austin Dobson : 

Extremum Tanain. (Rondeau) 618 

Persicos Odi. (Triolet) 618 

Vitas Hinnuleo. (Rondel) 619 

Tu ne Quaesieris. (Villanelle) 619 

Lamb's " Poetry for Children," Discovery of. By R. H. SHEPHERD 113 

Livingstonia. By Frederick A. Edwards 493 

Miss Misanthrope. By Justin McCarthy: 

Chap. XIX. Mr. St. Paul's Mystery i 

XX. Love and Electioneering 12 

XXI. An Episode 19 

XXII. Mr. Sheppard's Offer of Surrender . . . .129 

xxiii. " Mischief, thou art afoot" 140 

XXIV. All the rivals at once 150 

XXV. Victor — Propositi? 257 

XXVI. " Luckless lovers interpreter " . . . • . 265 

XXVII. " Was ever woman in this humour wooed .^" . . 274 

XXVIII. The Member for Keeton 385 

XXIX. A Lounge in the Park 396 

XXX. " Leaned her breast up till a thorn " . . 405 

XXXI. " And even for love will bury love in eaith" . .513 

XXXII. Left lonely ... .... 523 

XXXIII. The Man without a Grievance .... 530 

XXXIV. " He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted " 641 

XXXV. A general Breaking-up 648 

XXXVI. " Where I did bejrin, there shall I end " . . 662 

VI Contents. 


"Mafia" and "Omertk" in Sicily, The. By T. Adolphus 

Trollope 158 

Marat, Jean Paul. By Ernest Belford Bax . . . .572 

Model Demagogue, A. By H. Barton Baker .... 476 
Naples : its " Fondaci," its Brigandage, and its " Camorra." By 

T. Adolphus Trollope 349 

Parlour Wall, The : Notes on recent Art-Work in Black and White. 

By Frederick Wedmore 563 

Rabelais, Francois. By Joseph Knight 669 

Regimental Distinctions, Traditions, and Anecdotes. By Lieut.- Col. 

W. W. Knollys 225 

Representative Lady,. A, of the Last Century. By H. Barton 

Baker . 76 

Royal Academy and Exhibition, The 173 

Sappho, A Dream of. By Minnie Mack ay 108 

Savage Political Life. By J. A. Farrer 461 

Seamy Side of Patriotism, The. By Thomas Foster . . , 740 

Secocoeni, A Visit to the Chief. By H. R. H. . . 1 . 302 

Sigurd, The Story of, and its Sources. By Francis Hueffer . 46 

Sun-Spot, Storm, and Famine. By Richard A. Proctor . . 693 

Table-Talk. By Sylvanus Urban, Gentleman: 

Spelling-reformers — Publisher and novelist — Classic discoveries 
—An Academy critic — Insects and their ravages — " Money and 
orders " — Torpedoes — A peer and his wig — A note for Shake- 
speareolators — A cure for neuralgia — A new weapon of war . 123 

The Colorado beetle — A telegraphic message — John Ruskin and 
cruelty to animals — " Keeping a bicycle " — Caxton, the trades- 
H man and the artist — Religious slang — Crossing the Atlantic . 253 

Rabelais as a prophet — Advice and prejudice— Holiday accidents 
—The* centenary of Doll Pentreath — A " crack" surgeon and 
his hearer — Englishmen and sport — A statue to King Alfred . 380 

Discovery of Lamb's " Prince Dorus " — De Quincey and Hogg — 
A buried city — Newspaper correspondents and the Carlist war 
— A hoax at Bath — Bird torpedoes and their effects— Broad 
gauge and narrow gauge — Daniel Deronda: a coincidence — 
A duck in the pulpit — The Indian famine — Mr. Justin McCarthy 
and newspaper obituaries 507 

Thirlmere and Manchester — The Queen and her Indian shawls — 
The Rubens tercentenary — Women confessing to women — The 
Indian r^ihvay system and the famine — An awkward mistake — 
The preservation of ancient buildings — The future of France— 
" Philo-Familias " and women's rights — The death of Brigham 
Young — Mortimer Collins and his admirer — ^Spanish cruelty — 
Zazel and Lulu 633 

Short biographies—" Send another Obelisk "—Death of Theodore 




Barri^re — Mr. Dumas y?/j and Daniel Deronda — Dinners at 
the Club — Lives of Actors — Strange prayers — Prize-fighting 
and bull-baiting — Tennysonian Coincidences — Smollett and Sir 

Walter Scott — Horses in war-time 755 


Telegraphy, On some Marvels in. — II. By RICHARD A. PROCTOR 29 

Timoneda. By Jamks Mew 715 

Trouting in Tasmania. By Red-Spinner 594 

Truffles. By W. Collett-Sandars 726 

Turkish Nation in Europe, A Forgotten. By KARL BLIND . . 439 

Tync, The River. By MARK HERON 239 

Zu>j War Dance, A. By H. R. H. 94 


By Arthur Hopkins. 

" She looks like Corinne" Frontispkce 

An Interposition to face page 153 

"Will you marry me?" „ 280 

"It's the handkerchief, sir, the ijvdy dropped" „ 404 

** There is just one f.wour you can do me now " „ 527 

"I was going away" 




J/^' "'■■■'- ^ • 



July 1877. 



Chapter XIX. 
MR. ST. Paul's mystery. 

TWO events occurring almost together affected a good deal some 
of the people of this story. The first was the death of Mrs. 

Miss Grey was at once invited by the lawyers who had the charge 
of her father's affairs to visit Keeton, in order to become fully ac- 
quainted with the new disposition of things in which she had so much 
interest. Thereupon Mr. Money announced that, as Miss Grey had 
no very close friend to look after her interests, he was resolved to 
put himself in the place of a parent or some near relation, and go 
with her and see that all her interests were properly cared for. 
Minola was unwilling to put him to so much trouble and loss of time, 
well knowing how absorbed in business he was ; but he set all her 
remonstrances aside with blunt, good-humoured kindness. 

" Lucy is coming with us," he said, " if you don't think her in 
the way; it might be pleasant for you to have a companion." 

" I should so much like to go with Nola," pleaded Lucy. 

" Oh, I shall be delighted if Lucy will go," Minola said, not well 
knowing how to put into words her sense of all their kindness. It 
was really a great relief to her to have Lucy's companionship in such 
a visit. Mary Blanchet did not like to go back even for a few days 
to Keeton. The poetess objected to seeing ever again the place 
where she considered that art and she had been degraded by her 
servitude in the Court-house. So the conditions of the visit were 
all settled. 
vuL.ccxLi. No. 1759. B 

2 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

But there arose suddenly some new conditions which Minola had 
never expected. The long-looked-for vacancy at length occurred in 
the representation of Keeton. The sitting member announced his 
determination to resign his seat as soon as the necessary arrange- 
ments for such a step could be put into effect. It was imperative that 
Victor Heron should lose no time in throwing himself upon the 
vacant borough. Mr. Money and Lucy rattled up to Minola's door 
one morning breathless with the news. Lucy's eyes were positively 
dancing with excitement and delight. 

" It seems to me that there's going to be a regular invasion of 
your borough, Miss Grey," Mr. Money said. " We're all going to 
be there. You see that you are under no manner of obligation to 
me. I must have gone down to Keeton in any case ; it's one of the 
lucky things that don't often befall a busy man like me to be able to 
kill the two birds with the one stone. I must take care of our friend 
Heron as well as of you. He would be doing some ridiculous thipg 
if there were no elder to look after him. He is as innocent of the 
dodges of an EngHsh election as you are of the ways of English 
lawyers. So we'll be all together ; that will be very pleasant. Of 
course we'll not interfere with you — you shall be just as quiet as you 
like while we are doing our electioneering." 

What could Minola say against all this arrangement, which seemed 
so satisfactory and so delightful to her .friends? It was not pleasant 
for her to be brought thus into a sort of companionship with Victor 
Heron. But it would be far less pleasant, it would* indeed be in- 
tolerable and not to be thought of, that she should in any way raise 
an objection or make a difficulty which might hint of the feelings 
that possessed her. 

"After all, what does it matter?" she asked herself as Mr. 
Money was speaking. " I shall have to suffer this kind of thing in 
some way for half my life, I suppose. It is no one's fault but my 
own. Why should I disturb the arrangements of these kind people 
because of any weaknesses of mine ? If women will be fools, at least 
they ought to try to hide their folly. This is as good practice for me 
as I could have." 

So she told Mr. Money and Lucy that any arrangement that 
suited them would suit her, and that she would be ready to go the 
moment he gave the word. Then Mr. Money hastened away to look 
after other things, and Lucy remained behind " to help Nola with 
her preparations," as she insisted on putting it, but partly, as Minola 
felt only too sure, to talk with her about Victor Heron. 

Since Heron had offered her his advice in the Park, and she had put 

Miss Misanthrope. 3 

it aside, Minola and he had only met once or twice. Then he had 
attempted, the first time of their meeting, to renew his apologies, and 
she had put them lightly away, as she already had done the advice, 
and had given him to understand that she wished to hear no more of 
the matter. She had hoped that by assuming a manner of indiffer- 
ence she might lead him to forget the whole affair. But he did not 
understand her, and really believed that he had lost her friendship 
for ever by the manner in which he had spoken against Herbert 
Blanchet. He was troubled for her much more than for himself, 
believing, or at least fearing, that she had set her heart on a man 
unworthy of her. He kept away from her therefore, assuming that 
his society was no longer welcome, and resolute not to intrude 
on her. 

Minola had hoped that the worst was over, and that he and she 
were likely to settle gradually and unnoticed by others into a con- 
dition of ordinary acquaintanceship. This melancholy hope, to her 
a cruel necessity in itself, but yet the best hope she could see now 
left for her, was likely to be disturbed for a while by this ill-omened 
\'isit to Keeton. 

Minola was busy making her preparations for going to Keeton, 
and with a very heavy heart. Everything about the visit was now 
distressing to her. The occasion was mournful ; she dreaded long 
talks and discussions with Mr. Saulsbury ; she dreaded meeting old 
acquaintances in Keeton ; she shrank from the responsibilities of 
various kinds that seemed to be thrust upon her. When she left 
Keeton she thought she had done with it for ever. Where was the 
free life she had arranged for herself? Nothing seemed to turn out as 
she had expected. 

Meanwhile Mary Blanchet and Lucy Money were both delighted, 
and in their different ways, at the prospect of Minola's visit to Keeton. 
Mai)- saw her leader and patroness come back rich, and ready to be 
distinguished and to confer distinction. Lucy Money had the pro- 
H^t of variety, of a holiday with Minola whom she loved, and of 
Wng very often in the society of Victor Heron. Minola was, if any- 
Aing, made additionally sad by the thought that it was not in her 
power to share their feelings, and the fear that she might seem a 
vet blanket sometimes on their happiness. 

Lucy had been with her all the morning, helping her with Mary 
to make preparations for the journey. Minola was glad when it was 
fcund that some things were wanting, and Lucy and Mary offered to 
go out and buy them in Oxford Street. 

Minola was enjoying the sense of being alone, and was, at the 

B 2 

4 Tlie Genttematts Magazine. 

same time, secretly accusing herself of want of friendship because she 
enjoyed it, when a card was brought to her, and she was told that the 
gentleman said he wanted to speak to her, if she pleased, " rather 
particular." The card was that of Mr. St. Paul. He had never visited 
Minola before, nor was she even aware that he knew where she lived. 
She was surprised, but she did not know of any reason why she might 
not see him. She hastened down to her sitting-room, and there she 
found Mr. St. Paul, as she had found Mr. Blanchet once before. Mr. 
St. Paul looked even a stranger figure in her room than Mr. Blanchet 
had done, she thought. He seemed far too tall for the place, and 
had a heedless, lounging, half-swaggering way, which appeared as if 
it were compounded of the old manner of the cavalry man and the 
newer habits of the Western hunter. Nothing, however, could have 
been more easy, confident, and self-possessed than the way in which 
he came fon^'ard to greet Minola. If he had been visiting her every 
day for a month before, he could not have been more friendly and at 
his ease. 

" How d'ye do. Miss Grey ? Just in time to see you, I suppose, 
before you go? I've been down to Keeton already. I'm going 
down again — I mean to make my mark there somehow." 

Minola thought, with a certain half-amused, half-abashed feeling, 
of the remarks she had heard concerning herself and Mr. St. Paul, 
but she did not show any embarrassment in her manner. Indeed, Mr. 
St. Paul was not a person to allow any one to feel much embarrass- 
ment in his presence. He was entirely easy, self-satisfied, and unaf- 
fectedy and he had a way of pouring out his confidences as though he 
had known Minola from her birth upwards. 

" I hope you found a pleasant reception there." 

" Yes, well enough for that matter. I find my brother and his 
wife are not anything like so popular as I was given to understand 
that they were. I saw my brother in London — didn't I tell you ? — 
before I went down to Keeton, you know." 

" No, I did not know that you had seen him ; I hope he was glad 
to see you, Mr. St. Paiil ? " 

" Not he ; I dare say he was very sorry I hadn't been wiped out 
by the Indians. Do you know what being wiped out means ? " 

"Yes, I think I could guess that much. I suppose it means 
being killed ? " 

" Of course. I mean to teach you all the slang of the West ; I 
think a nice girl never looks so nice as when she is talking good ex- 
pressive slang. Our British slang is all unmeaning stuff, you know ; 
only consists in calling a thing by some short vulgar word-^or some 

Miss Misanthrope. 5 

long and pompous word, the fun being in the pompousness ; but the 
Western slang is a sort of picture-writing, don't you know?— a kind of 
compressed metaphor, answering the purposes of an intellectual pem- 
mican or charqui. Do you know what these things are. Miss Grey ? " 

" Oh, yes ; compressed meats of some kind, I suppose. But I 
don't think I care about slang very much." 

" You may be sure you will when you get over the defects of your 
Keeton bringing-up. But what was I going to tell you ? Let me 
see. Oh, yes, about my brother and his wife. The honest Keeton 
folks seem to have forgotten them. But I was speaking, too, about 
my going to see my brother in town. Oh, yes, I went to see him ; 
he didn't want me, and he made no bones about letting me know it 
He thinks I have disgraced the family ; it was quite like the scene 
in the play— whose play is it? — I am sure I don't remember — ^where 
Lord Foppington's brother goes to see him, and is taken so coolly. 
I haven't read the play for more years than you have lived in the 
world, I dare say, but it all came back upon me in a moment. I felt 
like saying * Good-bye, Foppington,' only that he would never have 
understood the allusion, and would think I meant to say he was a 
'fop,' which he is not, bless him." 

" Then your visit did not bring you any nearer to a reconciliation 
with your brother? " 

" Not a bit of it — pushed us farther asunder, I think. The odd 
thing was that I told him I wanted nothing from him, and that I 
had made money enough for myself in the West. You would have 
thought that would have fetched him, wouldn't you ? Not the least 
in life, I give you my word." And Mr. St. Paul laughed good- 
humouredly at the idea. 

" I am sorry to hear it," said Minola. ** I think there are quarrels 
and spites enough in the world, without brothers joining in with all 
the rest" 

" Bad form, isn't it — don't you think ? But I don't suppose in 
real life brothers and sisters ever do care much for each other — 
do you think they do ? I haven't known any such cases ; have 
you ? " 

Minola could not contribute much from her own family history to 
demonstrate the affection and devotion of brothers; but she had no 
idea of agreeing in the truth of Mr. St Paul's philosophic reflections, 
for all that 

" I believe what you say is true enough as regards the brothers, 
but I can't admit it of the sisters." 

" Com^, now, >ou don't really believe that nonsense, I know," 

6 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" Believe what nonsense ? That sisters may be fond of their 
brothers sometimes ? " 

" No, I don't mean that ; but that there is any real difference 
between men and women in these ways — that men are all bad and 
women all good, and that sort of thing. One's ^ bad as the other, 
Miss Grey. When you have, lived as long in the world as I have, 
you'll find it, I tell you. But I don't find much fault with either 
lot. I think they are both right enough all things considered, don't 
you know." 

" I am sure Mary Blanchet is devoted to her brother," Miss Grey 
said warmly. 

" That little old maid ? Well, now, do you know, I shouldn't 
wonder. That's just the sort of woman to be devoted to a brother, 
and, of course, he doesn't care twopence about her." 

" Oh, for shame ! " said Minola, not, however, feeling quite satis- 
fied about the strength of Herbert Blanchet's affection for his sister, 
even while she felt bound, for Mary's sake, to utter her protest against 
his being set down as wholly undeserving. 

" But, I say," Mr. St. Paul observed, " what a fool he is ! I don't 
think I ever saw a more conceited cad and idiot." 

" He is a very particular friend of mine, Mr. St. Paul," Miss Grey 
began. " At least, his sister is one of my oldest friends." 

" Yes, yes ; just so. The good old spinster is a friend of yours, 
and you try to like the cad-brother on her account. All quite right, 
of course. I should say he was just the sort of fellow to borrow the 
poor old girl's money, if she had any." 

" Oh, Mary has no money, and I am sure, if she had, she would be 
only too glad to give it to him." 

" Very likely ; anyhow, he would be only too glad to take it, you 
may be sure. But I don't want to say anything against your friends, 
Miss Grey, if you don't like it. Only women generally do like it, you 
know — and then, you may say anything you please, in your turn, 
against any of my friends or relatives. I shan't be offended one bit, 
I can assure you." 

Minola had nothing to say, and therefore said nothing. Her new 
acquaintance did not allow any silence to spring up. 

" Talking of friends," he said, " there is one of your friends who 
politely declines any helping hand of mine in the election business at 
Keeton, although I think I could do him a good turn with some of 
the fellows who are out of humour with my brother. Our quixotic 
young friend ^vill have none of the help of brothers who quarrel with 
brothers, it seems. Easy to see that he never had a brother." 

Miss Misanthrope, 7 


" Mr. Heron is a man of very sensitive nature, I believe," Minola 
said ; " he will not do anything that he does not think exactly right, 
Mr. Money sajrs." 

" Yes, so I hear. Odd, is it not? Heron always was a con- 
founded young fool, you know. He got into all his difficulties by 
bothering about things that oughtn't to have concerned him one red 
cent. Well, he won't have my disinterested assistance. There agaia 
he is a fool, for I could have done something for him, and Money 
knows it — it was partly on Money's account that I thought of taking 
up Heron's side of the affair, because, so far as I am concerned, 
anybody else would do me just as well so long as he opposed my 
brother's man." 

" I can quite understand that Mr. Heron would not allow himself 
to be made a mere instrument to work out your quarrel with your 
brother. I think he was quite right." 

The good-humoured St. Paul laughed. 

" All very fine, Miss Grey, and it does for a lady uncommonly 
well, no doubt ; but if you want to get into Parliament, it won't do to 
be quite so squeamish. I am sure I should be only too happy to get 
the help of Cain against Abel or Abel against Cain, if I could, in such 
a case." 

" Most men would, I dare say," Minola answered, with as much 
severity as she could assume under the possible penalty of Mr. St 
Paul's laughter. " But I am glad that there are some men, or that 
there is one man, at least, who thinks there is some object in life 
higher than that of getting into Parliament" 

"Oh, as far as that goes, I quite agree with you. Miss Grey; I 
shouldn't care twopence myself about a seat in Parliament — a con- 
founded bore, I think. But if you go in for playing a game/why, you 
ought to play it, you know." 

" But are there not rules in every game? Are there not such 
things as fair and unfair?" 

" Of course, yes ; but I fancy the strong players generally make 
the rules to suit their own ideas in the end. Anyhow, I never heard 
of anyone playing at electioneering who would have hesitated for a 
moment about accepting the hand I offered to our quixotic young 

" I am glad he is quixotic," Minola said eagerly. " I like to think 
of a man who ventures to be a Quixote." 

" Very sorry to hear it. Miss Grey, for I am afraid you won't like 
much to think about me. Yet, do you know, I came here to make a 
sort of quixotic offer about this very election." 

8 The GentlematCs Magazine. 



" I am glad to hear it ; the more quixotic it is, the more I shall 
like it To whom is the offer to be made? — to Mr. Heron?" 

" Oh, no, by Jove !— excuse me. Miss Grey — nothing of the sort. 
The offer is to be made to you." 

" To me ? " Minola was a little surprised, but she did not 
colour or show any surprise. She knew very well that it was not an 
offer of himself Mr. St. Paul was about to make, but it amused her 
to think of the interpretation Mary Blanchet, if she could have been 
present, would at once have put on his words. 

" Yes, indeed, Miss Grey, to you. I have it in my power to make 
you retuming-officer for Keeton. Do you understand what that 

" I know in a sort of way what a retuming-officer is; but I don't 
at all understand how I can do his office." 

" 1*11 show you. You shall have the fate of Keeton as much in 
your hands as if you owned the whole concern — a deuced deal more, 
in fact, than if you owned the whole concern in days of ballot like 
these. I believe you do own a good many of the houses there now, 
don't you?" 

" I hardly know ; but I know that, if I do, I wish I didn't." 

" Very well ; just you try what you can get out of your influence 
over your tenants — that's all." 

" Then how am I to become retuming-officer for Keeton ? " 

" That's quite another thing. That depends on me." 

" On you, Mr. St. Paul ? " 

"On me. Just listen." St Paul had been seated in his favourite 
attitude of careless indolence in a very low chair, so low that his long 
legs seemed as if they stretched half-way across the room. His position, 
joined with an expression of self-satisfied lawlessness in his face, might 
have whimsically suggested a sort of resemblance to Milton's arch-fiend 
" stretched out huge at length," in one of his less malign humours. 
He now jumped up and stood on the hearth-mg, with his back to 
the fireplace, his slightly stooping shoulders only seeming to make him 
look taller than otherwise, because they might set people wondering 
as to the height he would have reached if he had only stood erect and 
made the most of his inches. His blue eyes had quite a sparkle 
of excited interest in them, and his prematurely bald forehead 
looked oddly infantme over these eyes and that keen, fearless 

" Look here, Miss Grey, it's all in your hands. You know both 
these fellows, don't you? " 

*' Both what fellows ? " 

Miss Misanthrope. 9 

" These fellows who want to get in for Keeton. You know them 
both. Now, which of them do you want to win ? " 

" What can it matter which way my wishes go— if they went any 

" How like a woman ! how very like a woman ! " and he laughed. 

"What is like a woman? I know when a man says anything is 
like a woman he means to say that it is ridiculous." 

" Well, that's true enough ; that is about what we do mean in 
most cases. What I meant in this case was only that you would not 
answer my question. I put a plain direct question, to which you must 
have some answer to give, and you only asked me a question in 
return which had nothing to do with mine." 

" Perhaps I have no answer to give. I may have the answer in 
my own mind, and yet not have it to give to anyone else." 

** Oh, but you may really give it to me ! — in strictest confidence, 
I assure you ; no living soul shall ever know from me. Come, Miss 
Grey, let me know the truth. It can't possibly do you any harm — or 
anybody harm, for that matter, except the wrong man — for I take it 
for granted that the man you don't favour must be the wrong man." 

" But I don't know that I ought to have anything to do with such 
a matter ^" 

" Never mind these scruples ; it's nothing ; there's to be no 
treason in the business, nor any unfair play. It's only this : I 
couldn't get in for the borough myself, even if I tried my best, but 
I can send in the one of the two whom I prefer — or, in this case, 
whom you prefer. I can do this as certainly as anything in this 
uncertain world can be certain." 

" But how could that be ? " 

" That it would not suit me to tell you just at present. I know 
a safe way, that's all. In the teeth of the ballot I can promise you 
that Now, Miss Grey, who is to have the seat ? " 

" Are you really serious in all this, Mr. St. Paul ? " 

" As serious as I ever was in my life about anything — a good deal 
more serious, I dare say, than I often was about graver things and 
more important men. Now then, Miss Grey, which of these two 
fellows is to sit for Keeton ? " 

" But why do you make this offer to me ? " she asked, with some 
hesitation. " What have I to do with it ? " There was something 
alarming to her in his odd proposition, about which he was evidently 
quite serious now. 

" Why do I make the offer to you ? Well, because I should like 
to please you, because ypu are a sort of woman I like— a regular 

lo TJie Gentleman's Magazine. 

good girl, I think, without any nonsense or affectation about you. 
Now, thafs the whole reason why I offer this to you. I don't care 
much myself either way, except to annoy my brother, and that can 
be done in fifty other ways without half the trouble to me. I was 
inclined to draw out of the whole affair until I remembered that you 
knew both the fellows, and I thought you might have a wish for one 
of them to go in in preference to the other — they can't both go in, 
you see — and so I made up my mind to give you the chance of 
saying which it should be. Now then, Miss Grey, name your man." 

He put his hands into his pockets and coolly waited for an 
answer. He had not the appearance of being in the least amused at 
her perplexity. He took the whole affair in a calm matter-of-fact 
way, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. 

Minola was perplexed. She did not see what right he could have 
to control the coming contest in any way, and still less what right she 
could have to influence him in doing so. The dilemma was one in 
which no previous experience could well guide her. She much 
wished she had Mr. Money at hand to give her a word of counsel. 

" Come, Miss Grey, make up your mind — or rather, tell me what 
you have already made up your mind to, for I am sure you have not 
been waiting until now to form an opinion. Which of these two 
men do you want to see in Parliament ?" 

There did not seem any particular reason why Minola or any 
girl might not say in plain words which of two candidates she would 
rather see successful. 

Mr. St. Paul appeared to understand her difficulty, for he said in 
an encouraging way — 

"After all, you know, if you had women's rights and all that sort 
of thing you would have to give your vote for one or other of 
these fellows, and I dare say you would be expected to take the 
stump for your favourite candidate. So there really can't be any very 
serious objection to your telling me in confidence which of the two 
you want to win." 

Minola could not see how there could be any objection on any 
moral principle she could think of just then — being in truth a little 
confused and puzzled — to her giving a voice to the wash she had 
formed about the election. 

" It's not the speaking out of my wish that gives me any doubt," 
she said ; " it is the condition under which you want me to speak. I 
seem to be doing something that I have no right to do ; that is, Mr. 
St Paul, if you are serious." 

" I remember readmg, long ago," he said, " some Arabian Nights' 

Miss Misanthrope, 1 1 

story, or something of the kind, about a king, I think it was, who 
was brought at night to some mysterious place and told to cut a rope 
there, and that something or other would happen, he did not know 
what or when. The thing seemed very simple, and yet he didn't quite 
like to do it without knowing why and how and all about it. It 
strikes me that you seem to be in the same sort of fix." 

" So I am ; just the same. Why can't you tell me what you are 
going to do?" 

" I Hke that ! That is my secret for the present" 

"And your king — the king in your story— did he cut the rope at 

" I am afrlid I have forgotten that ; but I have no doubt he did, 
for he was a reasonable sort of creature, being a man, and I know 
that everything came right with him in the end." 

" Very well ; I accept the omen of your king, and I too will cut 
the rope without asking why. Of course I wish that Mr. Heron 
should be elected. He is a Liberal in politics. Why do you laugh 
when I say that, Mr. St Paul ? " 

" Well, I didn't know that you cared much for that sort of thing ; 
and women are generally supposed to be reactionaries all the world 
over, are they not ? Well, anyhow, that's one reason, his being a 
Liberal. What next ? " 

" I don't know that any next is wanting. But of course I think 
Mr. Heron is a much cleverer man, and is likely to be much better 
able to get on in the House of Commons ; and then he has his com- 
plaint to make against the Government " 

" Yes ; and then ? " 

" Then, he is very much liked by people whom I like — and I like 
him very much myself." Minola spoke out with perfect frankness, 
believing that that was the best thing she could do, and not showing 
the least sign of embarrassment. 

Mr. St Paul laughed. 

" You don't like the other fellow so well ? " he said. 

" I am sure he is a very good man " 

" That's enough ; you need not say another word. We all can 
tell what a critic means when he speaks of some actor as a careful 
and painstaking performer. It's just the same when a woman says 
a man is very good. Then you pronounce for Heron ? " 

" I pronounce for Mr. Heron decidedly, if you call saying what 
I should like to happen pronouncing for anyone." 

" In this case it is of more effect than many other pronunciamentos. 
You have elected Heron, Miss Grey, if I am not much more out in 

1 2 Tlie Gentleman! s Magazine. 

my calculations than I have been this some time. All right, I am 
satisfied. If you have money to throw away, just back what*s-his- 
name ? — Sheppard — heavily, and you are sure to get rid of it." 

" And you won't tell me what all this means ? " 

" Not I, indeed ; not likely. Good-day, Miss Grey ; you have 
elected your friend Heron, I can tell you. Odd, isn't it, that he 
should come to be elected after all by me ? " 

He bade her good-day again, and strode and shambled out of the 
room and downstairs, leaving Minola much perplexed and not quite 
pleased, and yet full of a secret wonder and pride at the possibility 
of her having helped to do Mr. Heron a service. 

" I wonder what he would say if he knew of it ? " she asked 
herself, and she could hardly think that he would be greatly delighted 
with the promise of such influence. 

Chapter XX. 


The soul of Keeton, as a local orator expressed it, was stirred 
to its depths by the events which succeeded. The three 
estates of the town, whereof we have already spoken, were alike 
concerned in the election. Had it never occurred, there would have 
been enough in the death of Mrs. Saulsbury and the rearrangement of 
Mr. Grey's property to keep conversation up among the middle grade 
of Keeton folks. But business like that would not interest the park, 
and of course it had no interest for the working class of the town. 
The election, on the contrary, was of equal concern to park, semi- 
detached villa, and cottage, or even garret. A contest in Keeton 
was an absolute novelty so far as the memory of living man could go 

It may perhaps be said that the opinion of the class who alone 
concerned themselves about her affairs had been on the whole de- 
cidedly unfavourable to Minola. She had gone as a sort of rebel 
against legitimate authority out of Keeton, and had flung herself into 
the giddy vortex of London life. No one well knew what had become 
of her; and that with Keeton folks was another way of saying that 
she must have rushed upon destruction. Some persons held that 
she must have gone upon the stage. This idea became almost a cer- 
tainty when a Keeton man, being in London on business, brought 
b^ck with him frgm town a play-bill aqpounqing a new of>era botiff^ 

Miss Misatithrope, 1 3 

111 which one of the minor performers was named " Miss Mattie Grey." 
If the good Keeton man had only looked in a few other play-bills he 
would have no doubt found Greys in abundance — Matties, Minnies, 
Nellies, and such-like; Grey being rather a favoiurite name with young 
ladies in the profession. But he made no such investigation, and it 
was at once assumed that Mattie Grey was Minola Grey in disguise — 
a disguise as subtle -as that of the famous knight. Sir Tristram, who, 
when he wanted to conceal his identity from all observers and place 
himself beyond all possibility of detection, called himself Sir 

When, however, it was found that Minola was to have her father's 
property after all, a certain change took place in the opinion of most 
persons who concerned themselves about the matter. It was assumed 
generally that Mr. Grey was far too good and Christian a man to have 
left his property to a girl who could be capable of acting in an opera 
bouffe. Then, when Miss Grey in person came to the town in the 
company of so "distinguished a man as Mr. Money, even gossip 
started repentant at the sound itself had made, and began to deny 
that it had ever made any sound at all. Mr. Money was a sort of 
hero among the middle class everywhere. He was known to have 
fought his way up in life, and to be now very rich ; and when Miss 
Grey came into the town in the company of Mr. Money and his 
daughter, the report went about forthwith that Minola Grey had got 
into the very best society in London, and that she was going to 
marry the eldest son of Mr. Money, and to be presented at Court. 

Mr. Money had taken a couple of floors of the best hotel to begin 
with. He had brought his carriage with him — a carriage in which he 
was hardly ever known to take a seat when in town. He had brought 
a sort of retinue of servants. He went deliberately about making 
what Mr. St. Paul would have called " a splurge." Mr. Money knew 
his Pappenheimers. He knew that he was well known to have sprung 
from nothing, but he also knew that the middle and lower classes of 
Keeton would have given him little thanks if he had tried to please 
them by exhibiting there a modesty becoming his modest origin. He 
knew well enough that the more he put on display, the more they 
would think of him and of his clients. Therefore he put on display 
like a garment— a garment to which he was little used, and in which 
he took no manner of delight. There was generally a little group of 
persons round the hotel doors at all hours of the day waiting to 
see Mr. Money and his friends go out or come in. At first Minola 
positively decUned to go out at all, except at night ; and the recent 
death of her father's widow gave her a fair excuse for remaining 

14 The Gentleman^ s Magazine. 

quietly indoors. Lucy delighted in the whole afifair, and often de- 
clared that she felt as if she had been turned into a princess. When 
Mr. Heron came down, he too seemed rather to enjoy it. At 
least, he took it all as a matter of course. The experiences of 
colonial days, when the ruler of a colony, however small it may be, 
is a person of majestic proportions in his own sphere, enabled him 
to take Mr. Money's pomp quite seriously. 

Meanwhile Mr. Augustus Sheppard had got his committee-rooms 
and his displays of various kinds, and was understood to be working 
hard. The election contest, so long looked for, had taken everyone 
a little by surprise when it showed itself so near. It was natural that 
Mr. Sheppard and his friends should feel confident of the result. The 
retiring representative was now an old man. He had faithfully served 
out his time ; he had always voted as his patrons wished him to do 
he had never made a speech in the House of Commons ; he had 
never indeed risen to his feet there at all, except once or twice to 
present a petition. The delights of a parliamentary career were, 
therefore, this long time beginning to pall upon him. He had beea 
notoriously anxious to get out of Parliament. He had been sent 
into the House of Commons by the late duke to keep the seat 
warm until the present duke should come of age. But the present 
duke succeeded to the peerage before he came of age, and therefore 
never had a chance of sitting in the House of Commons. The man 
in possession was allowed to remain there through years and years 
until the present duke could be induced to return from abroad and 
take some interest in the political and other affairs of Keeton. His 
own son was yet too young for Parliament, and as the sitting member 
found himself getting too old, and begged for release, there was nothing 
better to do than to get some safe and docile person to take on him 
the representation of the borough for some time to come. Those 
who knew Keeton could recommend no one more fitting in every 
desirable way than Mr. Augustus Sheppard. 

The time was when Mr. Sheppard would only have had to present 
the orders of the reigning duke to the constituency of Keeton and 
to take his seat in the House of Commons accordingly as if by virtue 
of a sovereign patent in ancient days. But times had changed even 
in sleepy Keeton. The younger generation had almost forgotten 
their dukes, it was so long since a chief of the house had been 
among them. Even the women had grown comparatively indifferent 
to the influence of the name, seeing that it had so long been only a 
name for them. There had been for many years no duchesses and 
their lady daughters to meet at flower-shows and charitable bazaajnS^ 

Miss Misanthrope. 1 5 

by the delight of whose face, and the sound of whose feet, and the wind 
of whose tresses, as the poet has it, they could be made to feel happy 
and exalted. There once were brighter days, when the coming and 
going of the ladies at the Castle gave the women of Keeton a per- 
petual subject of talk, of thought, of hope, and of quarrel. Some of 
the readers of this story may perhaps have spent a little time in small 
towns on the banks of foreign — say of American — rivers which have a 
habit of freezing up as winter comes, and becoming useless for navi- 
gation — in fact, being converted from rivers into great frozen roads, 
imtil spring unlocks the flowers and the streams again. Such tra- 
vellers must have noticed what an unfailing topic of conversation such 
a river supplies to those who dwell on its banks. How soon will it 
freeze this season ? On what precise day was it closed to navigation 
last year — the year before — the year before that ? In what year did 
it freeze soonest ? Do you remember that particular year when it 
froze so very soon, or did not freeze for such an unprecedented length 
of time ? That was the same year that — no, not that year ; it was 
that other year, don't you remember? Then follow contradictions 
and disputes, and the elders always remember the river having been 
regularly in the habit of performing some feat which now it never cares 
to repeat. The time of the frost melting and the river becoming 
really a river again is a matter just as fruitful of discussion. The 
stranger is often tempted to wonder what the people of that place 
would have to talk about at all if suddenly the river were to give up 
its trick of freezing, and were to remain always as fluent as our own 
monotonous Thames. There seems to him some reason to fear that 
the tongues of the people would become frozen as the river ceased to 

Like the freezing and the melting of their river to those who lived 
on its banks, was the annual visit of the ladies of the ducal family 
to the womankind of Keeton in Keeton's brighter days. Girls were 
growing up there now who had never seen a duchess. The arrival, 
the length of stay, the probable time of departure, the appearances in 
public, whether more or less frequent than this time last year, the 
dresses worn by the gracious ladies, the persons spoken to by them, 
the persons only bowed to, the unhappy creatures who got neither 
speech nor salutation — it is a fact that there was a generation of 
women growing up in Keeton with whom these and such questions 
had never formed any part of the interest of their lives. They could 
not be expected to take much interest all at once and as it were by 
instinct in the poHtical cause of the ducal family. 

There was therefore a good deal of uncertainty about the conditions 

1 6 The Gentlemaits Magazine. 

of the problem. The followers of the ducal family were some of them 
full of hope. The reappearance of a duke and duchess, and their 
train, might do wonders in restoring the old order of things. In 
Keeton petticoat influence counted for a great deal, and in other days 
those who had the promises of the wives hardly thought it worth while 
to go through the form of asking the husbands. But now there was 
a new condition of the political problem even in that respect. The 
ballot, which had made the voter independent of the influence of his 
landlord or his wealthy customer, had converted the power of the 
petticoat into a sort of unknown quantity. There could be little 
doubt that the moral influence and the traditional control would still 
prevail with some ; but he must be a rash electioneering agent who 
would venture to say how many votes could thus be counted on. It 
is a remarkable tribute to the moral greatness of an aristocracy, that 
the influence thus obtained in old days over the wives and daughters 
of Keeton was absolutely unearned by any overt acts of favour or 
^ conciliation. The later dukes and their families had always been 
remarkable for never making any advances towards the townspeople. 
None of the traders of the town, however wealthy and respectable, 
found themselves or their wives invited to any manner of festivity up at 
the ducal hall. All that the noble family ever did for the towns- 
people was to come at certain seasons to Keeton and allow themselves 
to be looked at. This was enough for the time. The illustrious 
ladies could be seen, and, as has been said, they did sometimes speak 
a word to favoured and envied persons. They were loved for being 
great personages, not for anything they did to win such devotion. 
" Love is enough," says the poet. 

All these considerations, however, rendered it hard to calculate the 
exact chances of opposition in the borough of Keeton. Of course re- 
volutionary opinions were growing up, old people found, there as well 
as elsewhere. There was a new class of Conservatives springing up 
whom steady, old-fashioned politicians found it not easy to distinguish 
from the Radicals of their younger days. On the other hand, keen- 
sighted persons could not fail to perceive that, whereas in their youth 
almost all young men had a tendency to be or to fancy themselves 
Radicals, it was now growing rather the fashion for immature politicians 
to boast themselves Tories, and to talk of a spirited foreign policy and 
the dangers of Cosmopolitanism. It would be hard to say how things 
might turn out, knowing people thought, as they shook their heads, 
and hoped the expected contest might not come on for some 

Now the contest was at hand. At least, the sitting member had 

Miss Misanthrope. 1 9 

rather telling thing here, too, if it got about that we had brought a 
real poet specially down from London. I'll write at once." 
This seemed rather alarming to Minola. 

" I doubt whether Mr. Heron would much like it," she pleaded. 
" I don't know whether they are such very good friends just now — ^I 
am rather afraid." 

" Oh, yes ; of course they must be good friends ! Heron is not 
to have it all his own way in everything, anyhow. He must like the 
idea ; he shall. I'll write without telling him anything about it, and 
Heron couldn't help being friendly to any fellow who came imder his 
roof, as one might say." 

No one made any further objection. 

" I wish Heron had not been so confoundedly particular about 
St. Paul," Mr. Money went on tp say in a discontented tone. "That 
was absurd. St. Paul's no worse than lots of other fellows, and in 
such a thing as this we can't afford to throw away any offer of sup- 
port. We have to fight against the duke and his lot anyhow, and 
the help of St. Paul couldn't have done us any harm in that quarter, 
and it might have done us some good in others. I shouldn't wonder 
if St Paul had some friends and admirers here still ; and it is as 
likely as not that his being with us might conciliate a few of the mad 
Radicals. They might like him just because he is against his 
brother, the duke." 

" But Mr. Heron would not have such help as that," Lucy said, in 
tones of pride. 

" Oh, by Jove ! if you want to carry an election and now, I 

suppose, if St. Paul has any influence at all it will be given against 

Minola thought of her unholy compact, and did not venture to say 
a word on the subject. 

Chapter XXI. 


That was an odd and, on the whole, a wondrous pleasant time. 
In all her mental trouble and perplexity Minola could not help 
enjoying it. It was like a great holiday — like some extravagant 
kind of masquerading or private theatricals. It was impossible that 
one's spirits could go down, or at least that they could remain long 
down, under such <pircumstances. Life was a perpetual rattle and 

c 2 

1 8 The GentlemarHs Magazine. 

"Well, Lucelet, I don't like to say; I am not quite dlumxied 
with the look of things. I find there are a good many very s»trcHig 
Radicals grown up in this place since there was a contest here 
before ; and Heron's not wild enough for them by half. They, are a 
little of the red-hot-social-revolution sort of thing— the prol'et€Ure 
business, with a dash of the brabbling atheist — the fellows who think 
one is not fit to live if he even admits the possibility of another 
world. I am afraid these fellows will hold aloof fi'om us altogether, 
or even take some whim of voting against us, and they may be 
strong enough to turn the scale." 

Minola hoped that if her friend Mr. St Paul had really any 
charm by which to extort victory for Heron as he had promised he 
would not forget to use it in good time. But she began to have less 
faith, and less, in the possibility of any such feat. She was a little in 
the perplexed condition of some one of mediaeval times, who has 
entered into a bargain for supernatural interference, and is not quite 
certain whether to wish that the compact may be really carried out or 
that it may prove to have been only the figment of a dream. 

" I'm told we ought to have some poems done," Money went on 
to say. " Not merely squibs, you know, but appeals about right 
and justice, and the cause of oppressed humanity, and all that" 

"I'm sure Minola could do some beautifully!" Lucy exclaimed, 
looking beseechingly towards her friend. 

" Oh, no ; I couldn't indeed ! My appeals would be dreadfully 
weak ; they could not rouse the spirits of any mortal creature. Now, 
if we only had Mary Blanchet ! " 

This, it must be owned, was Minola's fun, but it gave an idea to 
Mr. Money. 

" Tell you what," he said, " we ought to have her brother — the 
bard, you used to call him, Lucelet." 

" Oh, no, papa ; iudeed I never called him anything of the kind. 
I never did, indeed, Nola." 

" Well, whatever you called him, Lucelq^, we can't do better than 
to have him. We'll put Pegasus into harness, by Jove — a capital 
good use to make of him too ! I'll write to what's-his-name ? — 
Blanchet — at once." 

" But I don't think he would like it, papa ; I think he would take 
offence at the idea of your asking him to do poems for an election. 
I don't think he would come." 

" Oh, yes, he would come ! we would make it worth his while. 
These young fellows give themselves airs, to make you girls admire 
them, that they never think of trying on with men. It would be a 

Miss Misanthrope. 19 

rather telling thing here, too, if it got about that we had brought a 
real poet specially down from London. 1*11 write at once." 
This seemed rather alarming to Minola. 

" I doubt whether Mr. Heron would much like it," she pleaded. 
" I don't know whether they are such very good friends just now — I 
am rather afraid." 

" Oh, yes ; of course they must be good friends ! Heron is not 
to have it all his own way in everything, anyhow. He must like the 
idea ; he shall. I'll write without telling him anything about it, and 
Heron couldn't help being friendly to any fellow who came xmder his 
roof, as one might say." 

No one made any further objection. ' 

" I wish Heron had not been so confoimdedly particular about 
St Paul," Mr. Money went on tp say in a discontented tone. "That 
was absurd. St Paul's no worse than lots of other fellows, and in 
such a thing as this we can't afford to throw away any offer of sup- 
port. We have to fight against the duke and his lot anyhow, and 
the help of St Paul couldn't have done us any harm in that quarter, 
and it might have done us some good in others. I shouldn't wonder 
if St Paul had some friends and admirers here still ; and it is as 
likely as not that his being with us might conciliate a few of the mad 
Radicals. They might like him just because he is against his 
brother, the duke." 

" But Mr. Heron would not have such help as that," Lucy said, in 
tones of pride. 

" Oh, by Jove ! if you want to carry an election and now, I 

suppose, if St Paul has any influence at all it will be given against 

Minola thought of her unholy compact, and did not venture to say 
a word on the subject 

Chapter XXI. 


That was an odd and, on the whole, a wondrous pleasant time. 
In all her mental trouble and perplexity Minola could not help 
enjoying it It was like a great holiday — like some extravagant 
kind of masquerading or private theatricals. It was impossible that 
one's spirits could go down, or at least that they could remain long 
down, under such circumstances. Life was a perpetual rattle and 

C 2 

20 The Gentleman's Magazifu. 

excitement; and the company was full of mirth. Even Victor 
Heron himself, for all his earnestness, went on as if the whole affair 
were some enormous joke. Electioneering appeared to be the best 
sort of pastime devisable. They all sat up until the morning con- 
cocting appeals to the electors, addresses to this or that interest sup- 
posed to be affected, attacks on the opposite party — not however on 
Mr. Sheppard personally — squibs about the Tories, denimciations of 
the Ministry, exhortations to the women of Keeton, the mothers of 
Keeton, the daughters of Keeton, and every class in and about 
Keeton who could be regarded as in the least degree open to the im- 
pulses of national or patriotic feeling. Some of these appeals had to 
be prepared in the absence and without the knowledge of the can- 
didate whom they were intended to serve. Heron was so sensitive 
about wliat he considered fair play, that he was inclined as far as he 
could to restrain rather unduly even the good spirits of his chief 
supporters, and not to allow them to deal half as freely as they could 
have wished in the weapons of sarcasm and ridicule. Minola was 
developing quite a remarkable capacity for political satire, and Lucy 
Money was indefatigable at copying documents. There were meet- 
ings held day and night, and Victor sometimes made a dozen speeches 
in the course of a single afternoon. 

Scarcely less eloquent did Mr. Money prove himself to be. He 
never failed when calfed upon to stand up anywhere and recount the 
misdeeds of the Ministry, and the crimes generally of the aristocracy 
of Britain, in language which went to the very hearts of his hearers ; 
and he had a rough telling humour which kept his audience amused 
in the midst of all the horrors that his description of the coimtry's 
possible ruin might have brought up before their minds. Mr. Money 
took the middle-aged electors immensely \ but there could be little 
doubt that the suffrages of the women, if they had had any, would have 
been given freely in favour of the eloquence and the candidature of 
Victor Heron. 

Sometimes it was delightful when a night came, after all the meet- 
ings and speech-makings were over — and it happened by strange 
chance that there was nothing more to do in the way of electioneer- 
ing just then ; for then the little party of friends would shut them-. 
selves up in their drawing-room, and chat and laugh, and sing and 
play on the piano, and make jokes, and discuss all manner of odd 
and fantastic questions, until long after prudence ought to have com- 
mended sleep. Minola sang whenever anybody asked her, although 
she never sang for listeners in London ; and she sang, if she could,, 
whatever her audience wished to hear. Lucy played and sang very. 

Miss Misanthrope. 2 1 

prettily too. Victor Heron had picked up in his colonial experiences 
and his wanderings about the world many sweet, wild, untutored 
songs of savage and semi-savage races and tribes, and he sang them 
with a dramatic skill and force for which none of his hearers had 
ever before given him credit. The little company seemed in fact to 
be entering into a condition of something like wild simplicity and 
frankness, when all the affectations of civilisation were let fall, and 
each did everything he could to the best effect, unconcerned by forms 
or by critics. 

To Lucy in especial all this was delightful. It was not an effort 
to her to throw herself into the spirit of the enjojmient as it was to 
Minola. To her the happiness of the present had no alloy. Over 
the passing hours there were no present clouds. In the whole world 
the two persons she most admired were Victor Heron and her father ; 
and these two were the heroes of the occasion, seeming to have the 
eyes of the world on them, and to be the admired of all as orators 
and statesmen. To hear them address cheering crowds brought 
tears of pride and delight into the eyes of the kind little maid. She 
was glorious in their glory ; their successes were hers. Then she had 
Minola too always with her, and they were all together, and walled off 
from the world into a little commonwealth of their own, and had 
nothing to do but to be great politicians all day, and listen to 
splendid speeches, and at night retire as it were into their tent, and 
be musical and joyous, and full of glorious hope. It was all a dream 
of love and pride to the gentle little Lucelet. 

More than once — ah ! more than twenty times — did Lucy tell 
Minola that her father had taken her to the House of Commons, and 
that she had often heard all the good speakers, and that she had 
never heard one who could in her estimation compare with Mr. 
Heron. She had heard Gladstone ; " and, of course, he was very 
good— oh, yes, very good indeed ! — but if you had heard him, Nola 
dear, you would say with me that he is not to be compared to Mr. 
Heron." She had heard Mr. Disraeli too — " oh, yes, many times, 
and he was very clever ! " she quite admitted that, " and he made 
people laugh a great deal ; " and she had heard Mr. Bright, whom 
her papa always considered the best speaker of all — " but wait until 
you hear- them, Nola — ^and you shall hear them all, darhng — and you 
will say yourself that none of them is like Mr. Heron. I don't know 
what it is, but there is something about Mr. Heron that none of them 
seems to have — at least, to my mind, Nola dear." 

Indeed, Nola knew well enough that there was for Lucy a charm 
in the eloquence of Mr. Heron which Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright 

22 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

would have vainly tried to rival. For herself, although she may be sup- 
posed to have been under the same influence as Lucy, she did not rate 
the eloquence of Mr. Heron quite so highly. The charm in her case 
did not work in just the same way. She listened with a certain admira- 
tion and surprise to the vivacious, earnest, and often highly impas- 
sioned speeches that Victor Heron threw off daily by the dozen, and 
she recognised with sincere delight the genuine freshness and force 
that were in them, and thought them a great deal better than she had 
expected to hear ; but she would not have had the least difficulty in 
admitting that Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright were probably much 
finer speakers than Mr. Heron ; and, \\dthout having heard either of 
these orators, she was already quite prepared to consider their 
eloquence as higher in order than his. What concerned her far more 
was that she saw nothing in Victor Heron that did not compel her to 
hold to or to increase the opinion she had already formed of his manly 
and unselfish character. She had hoped in a strange, reluctant way 
that, while seeing so much of him as she must needs do during their 
stay in Keeton, she might see in him, not indeed anything to lower 
her opinion of his courage, and truthfiilness, and manhood, but some 
little weaknesses or affectations which, harmless in themselves, might 
lower him in her mind from his place, and give her relief and rest. 
Yes, she had in her secret heart sometimes longed passionately and 
despairingly to be able thus to dethrone him from her heart, and to 
see him ^ a young man like another. She was suffering so much 
from the part which she had imposed on herself and was determined 
to play, that she would have welcomed relief even at the cost of the 
overturning of her idol. There were times when she almost wished 
she were able to hate him or to despise him, but she could do neither. 
The more she saw of him, the more she was compelled to see that, 
under that exterior of almost boyish impulsiveness and restless energy, 
there were only too many of the qualities which she held to be 
especially heroic He was so frank and simple, and yet so clever ; 
so full of courage, and yet so modest ; so strong, and so sweet and 
gentle. He would not flatter Neptune for his trident, she thought, 
nor Jove for his power to thunder. But there is many a man as good 
as Coriolanus in that, who, like Coriolanus, would brag, and bully, 
and be coarsely haughty; and Mr. Heron could do nothing like that. 
To her he seemed all kindness and frank, simple sweetness, artd she 
could not dethrone him from his place in her heart. 

Perhaps we may well ask ourselves whether the clever and sarcastic 
Minola was not, after all, as extravagant a hero-worshipper as little 
Lucelet? Is it, to say the least, not quite possible that when Lucy 

Miss Misanthrope. 23 

believed Victor Heron to be as fine a speaker as Demosthenes, she was 
only exaggerating his merits in one way as much as Minola was exag- 
gerating them in another? Is it likely that he was by any means that 
pure and perfect hero, all strength, and truth, and nobleness, that 
Minola was resolved to believe him ? To many of us, perhaps, if 
we had known him, he might have seemed a clever, agreeable, honest, . 
but rather simple and impracticable young man, and nothing more. 
We might have probed his character with the most impartial and even 
benevolent purpose, hoping to find there our ideal type of manhood, 
and honestly found ourselves unable to see anything of the kind in 
him. But it may be, too, that Minola really did see what we failed 
to see, and that she had got with her love, not a dazzled sight, but 
clcttrvoyanct. You cannot make a touchstone of every pebble. The 
other pebbles may do their honest best, and give their judgment, and 
be wrong. 

This, however, we shall not be able to decide. It has already 
been said in favour of the impartiality of Minola's judgment that at 
least she had done her best to prove it a mistake, and had to ratify it 
against her will. But, right or wrong, it affected her all the same. 
Every day that she passed in Keeton imder these peculiar circum- 
stances only added to the strength of the feelings which oppressed her, 
and against which she fought her fight in vain. 

" I do wish this election would last for ever, Nola dear," Lucy 
said, with a sigh of mingled pleasure and fear. " I never liked any 
part of my life half so well." 

There was, it must be owned, a great deal of pleasure in it for 
Minola as well. The pleasure was a fearful joy, and was mixed up 
with very acute pain ; still, the exhilaration and the delight were there. 
All the time there was a feeling that she was not only working with 
Victor Heron, but for him. It is true that the time had many bitter 
moments ; it is true also that not for years had her spirits risen so 
often to so high a point. 

That was, for instance, a delightful night when they all went out 
to the park and rambled about there, and looked at the great mauso- 
leum. It was near midnight when they set out, for it was well-nigh 
impossible for them to get any time to themselves at any earlier 
hoiu-. The great gates of the park were closed long before that time ; 
but Minola knew of a little stile at one of the boundaries of the park, 
through which they might easily enter, and this gave quite a romantic 
air of trespassing and law-breaking to the whole escapade, which 
much enhanced its charm. The duke and his family had not come 
to the place, but were expected every day, and there was something 

24 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

rather piquant in the notion of thus trespassing on the lands of their 
political enemy. Mr. Money was much amused at the idea of their 
all being arrested as trespassers — perhaps even as robbers — and 
brought before some country justice, who might take it into his head 
to render a service to the duke and Mr. Sheppard by committing 
them to prison. They were all in the highest spirits. 

The night was one to inspirit any heart It was soft and warm, 
with a pale, poetic crescent moon just showing itself over the park 
trees, and a planet of shining silver just beneath the crescent of the 
moon, looking like the emblem of the Ottoman done in light upon 
the sky. There was something fantastic, poetic, and a little uncanny 
about this half-moon with the planet just within the enclosure of her bow. 
" Can anything be more beautiful ?" Minola asked aloud, and in 
her heart she thought, " I ought to be very happy and very thankful. 
When last I was here, how lonely I was ! — I had hardly a friend : 
and now, what good, kind friends I have, whom I love, and who, I 
believe, are really fond of me. How ungrateful I should be if I 
were to repine because I have not everything that an idle fancy makes 
me ask fori" The whole influence of the place, the hour, the con- 
ditions entered into her soul, and made her think life very sweet and 
gracious then. 

They were standing near the steps of the mausoleum. 
" Now," said Lucy, " there is one thing I should so like just at 
this moment ; it would be delightful." 

" Well, Lucelet, what is it ?" her father asked. ** Is it to have 
several hairs of the duke's beard ? Perhaps Mr. Heron will pledge 
himself to get them if you only ask him prettily." 

" Papa, dear, what nonsense ! " Lucy was not acquainted with 
the adventures of Sir Huon of Bordeaux. " No ; I only want Nola 
to sing for us just here. It would be delightful in this air and at 
this spot." 

" Don't know that it would do Miss Grey's voice much good to 
be exerted at midnight in the open air, Lucelet." 

"It couldn't do it any particular harm," Minola said, only too 
happy in her present mood to have a chance of pleasing anybody. 
" My voice is not good enough to get any harm. I am only afraid 
that you may not be able to hear me." 

" We'll come close around you and make a ring, so far as our 
numbers will allow us," Victor said. 

Minola mounted the steps of the mausoleum to get some advan- 
tage over her audience, as her voice was not strong, and they stood 
below, not in a ring, b,ut in a row. 

Miss Misanthrope. 55 

" What shall I sing?" she asked 

Of course she was only besought to sing any song she pleased; 
so, rather than keep them waiting and make herself appear as if she 
were attaching too much value to a trifle, she sang at once the first 
song that came into her mind. It was the story of the luckless lover 
of Barbara Allen. 

Minola's voice was singularly fresh, pure, and sweet. It wanted 
strength, and would have sounded to little advantage in a concert 
room. It had some exquisite shades, if we may use such an expres- 
sion, which would have been lost altogether in a great hall and on an 
ordinary audience. Minola, conscious of the lack of strength in her 
voice, and yet compelled by her dramatic instincts to seek for the 
fullest expression even when she only sang to please herself, had tried 
to make her singing obey her feelings and her perception of poetical 
meaning by giving its fullest value to every syllable and every tone. 
The songs she sang seemed to have much more in them than as they 
were sung by anyone else. New meanings and shades of meaning 
appeared to come out' as the words came from her lips. But it 
required appreciative listeners to get at the genuine beauty of her 
singing ; and the listeners must not be far away from the singer, or, 
no matter how appreciative, they must lose much of the effect. In 
the open air her voice would usually have failed to impress one ; but 
this night the air was so pure and clear and soft, and the whole 
l)lace was so silent, that tlie voice seemed made for the place, the 
hour, and the atmosphere ; and the voice, indeed, became to the ears 
of some of the audience as if it were a part of the scene, an essential 
condition of its cliarm. As the song went on, the listeners found 
themselves drawn on to ascend the first step of the mausoleum, that 
they might not lose a syllable of the sweet, sad, old-fashioned story 
thus tenderly and sympathetically told. 

The song was over. No one said a word directly in its praise. 
For a moment, indeed, there was silence. 

** I wish she would not come down from the steps just yet," said 
Lucy. "Stay a moment, Nola dear; we shall ask you to sing 
something else if you will. I do like to see her standing 
there," she explained to her father and Heron; " she looks like 

They asked her to sing something else, and of course she was 
only too glad to please them. This time she chose a little ballad of 
Walter Scott's, to be found in " The Pirate," of which in her young 
days of romance Minola used to be fond. This song she had put of 
her own conceit to the music of a little-known folk-song of the border. 

26 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

which seemed to her to suit its spirit and words. It is the ballad 
which gives the betrayed lover's farewell to the " wild ferry which 
Hacon could brave, when the peaks of the skerry were white with the 
wave/' and to the maid who " may look over those wild waves in vain 
for the skiff of her lover, he comes not again." For the broken vows, 
the maiden may fling them on the wild current, and the merraaiden 
may sing them. " New sweetness they'll give her bewildering 
strain; there is one who will never believe them again." If Minola 
had really been a betrayed lover, she could not have expressed 
more simply and more movingly the proud passion of a broken 
heart. As Lucy's face was upturned in the moonlight, Victor saw 
that her eyes were swimming in tears. He was greatly charmed and 
touched by her sensitiveness, and felt drawn to her in an unusual 
way. He turned his eyes away, fearing she might know that he had 
seen her tears. 

Minola came down from the steps silently. As yet, no one had 
thanked her or said her songs gave pleasure; but Minola felt that she 
had pleased them, and that they liked her to sing, and for the time she 
was happy. If she could have known that her song had brought 
Victor Heron nearer in feeling than ever he was before to her friend 
Lucy, she would perhaps have felt an added although a rather melan- 
choly pleasure in the power of her song. Certainly the sensation that 
passed through Victor's breast as he heard the last lines of the song, 
and looked on Lucy's face, and saw the sparkling tears in her eyes, 
was something new to him, and in itself no poor tribute to the influence 
of the music. 

Mr. Money was the first to speak. 

" Your way of singing, Miss Grey, reminds me of what I once 
heard a very clever man say of the reading of Shakespeare's sonnets. 
He said he never heard them properly read except by a man who 
was dying, like your friend the lover of Barbara Allen, and who could 
hardly speak above his breath." 

" My dear papa, what a compliment to Nola ! " the astonished 
Lucy exclaimed. 

" You don't understand it, Lucelet — Miss Grey does, I am sure, 
and I hope Heron does, although I am not so sure in his case. It 
means that this poor dying poet — he was a poet, didn't I say ? " 

" No, indeed you didn't," said Lucy. 

" Oh, yes, he was a poet. Well, this poor dying poet had to make 
such use of his failing voice to express all the meaning of the poems 
he loved above all others, that he would not allow the most delicate 
touch of meaning or feeling to escape in his reading. Now you begin 
to understand, Lucelet ? Miss Grey's singing is as fine as that" 

Miss Misanthrope. 27 

" Oh, if Nola is compared to a poet I don't mind. But a dying 
poet is rather a melancholy idea, and not a bit like Nola. I always 
think of Nola as full of health and life, and everything bright and 

" Still I quite understand what Mr. Money means, and it is a great 
compliment," Minola said. "There must have been something 
wonderful, supernatural, in hearing this dying poet recite such lines." 

** People with great strong voices hardly ever think much of what 
can be done by mere expression," Money remarked. 

" Then we ought to be glad if we have not good voices ? " 
Minola asked. 

" Well, yes; in many cases, at least I think so. It makes you 
sing all the better." 

"And perhaps they would sing best who had no voice at all." 

" Perhaps so," said Money gravely; " I shouldn't wonder." 

After this they all laughed, and the moment of sentiment was 
gone. But yet Victor Heron remained very silent and seemingly 
thoughtful The new and strange sensation which had arisen in him 
from hearing Minola's voice and seeing Lucy's tear-sparkled eyes 
had not faded yet. It perplexed him, and yet had something 
delightful in it The author of " Caleb Williams " declared that in it 
he would give to the world such a book that no man who had read it 
should ever be quite the same man again. Such a change it happens 
to more ordinary beings to work unconsciously in many men or 
women. A verse of a ballad, an air played on a harp, a chance word 
or two, the expression of a lip or an eye, an all unstudied attitude, 
shall change a whole life so that never again shall it be exactly what 
it was before. 

" We must be getting home," said Money. " There are speeches 
to be made to-morrow, Heron, my good fellow — there are deputations 
to receive, and I own to being a man who likes to sleep." 

" Just here and just now," said Victor, " the speech-making and 
the deputations seem rather vulgar business." 

He thought so now very sincerely. A sense of the vulgarity and 
futility of commonplace ambitions and struggles is one of the 
immemorial effects of moonlight, and music, and midnight air, and 
soft skies. But in Heron's case there was something more than all 
this which he did not yet understand. 

"The things have to be got through anyhow," Mr. Money 
insisted, " and these young ladies will be losing altogether their 

" Oh, I think the idea of going to sleep on such a night is odious. 

28 Tfie Gentleman s Magazine. 

when we might be out under the stkrs in this delightful place ! " Lucy 
exclaimed. " And besides, papa, the truth is that Nola and I always 
sit up together for ever so long after everybody else has gone, no 
matter what the hour may be — and so we might as well be here as any- 
where else. If our beauty depends on early hours it is forfeited long 
since, and there's no use thinking about it now." 

" I know Miss Grey is far too sensible a girl to share any such 
sentiments — so come with me, Miss Grey, and we shall at least set a 
good example." 

He took Minola's arm and drew it within his own with good- 
humouyed mastery, and led her away. Lucy and Victor had perforce 
to follow. They ran after Money and his companion. Minola could 
hear their laughter and the sound of their quick feet as they approached. 
Then when they came near they slackened their speed, and lagged a 
little behind. She could hear the sound of their voices as they talked. 
They spoke in low tones, but the sweet pure midnight air allowed at 
least the faint murmur of the tones to reach her ear as she walked 
quickly on, leaning on Mr. Money's arm, and trying to talk to him 
about the prospects of the coming election. 

" If he loves her, he must tell her so now — ^here," Minola thought 
" This surely is the place and the hour for a declaration of love, and 
he does love her — she is so very sweet and good." 

She tried to make herself believe that she was very happy, and 
that she rejoiced to know that Lucy was loved — by him, and even 
that she was rather amused in a high, unconcerned way by their love- 
making. When they had crossed the stile of the park and passed 
into the streets, Victor and Lucy came up with them again, and walked 
by their side. 

" It is done," Minola thought. " She has heard him now, and she 
has all her wish." Aloud she said, " I suppose you are right, Mr. 
Money, about the ballot — I had not thought much of that, but I am 
sure you must be pght." 

{To be continued.) 


THE next marvel of telegraph)' to be described is the transmission 
of actual facsimiles of writings or drawings. So fai as strict 
sequence of subject-matter is concerned, I ought, perhaps, at this 
point, to show how duplex telegraphy has been surpassed by a recent 
invention enabling three or four or more messages to be simultaneously 
transmitted telegraphically. But it will be more convenient to con- 
sider this wonderful advance after I have described the methods by 
which facsimiles of handwriting, &c., are 
transmitted. ^ 

Hitherto we have considered the 
action of the electric current in deflect- 
ing a magnetic needle to right or left, a 
method of communication leaving no 
trace of its transmission. We have now 
to con»da: a method at once simpler in 
principle and affording meajis whereby 
a permanent record can be left of each Fio. 6. 

message transmitted. 

If the insulated wire is twisted in the form of a helix or coil 
round a bar of soft iron, the bar becomes magnetised while the cur- 
rent is passing. If the bar be bent into the horse-shoe form, as in 
fig. 6, where a c b represents the bar, a b c d efiht coil of insulated 
wire, the bar acts as a magnet while the current is passing along 
the coil, but ceases to do so as soon as the current is interrupted.* 

I I iDQSt Motion the reader against fig. 34S in Giullemin's Applkaiien of the 
Pkytical Forca, in which the part^ d of the wire is not shown. The two coils are 
in icality part of a sbigle coil, divided into two to permit of llie bar being bent; 
and to remove the part e d'MKo divide the wire, and, of course, break the current. 
It will lie teen tbatc (/ passes from the remote side of coil b c, fig. 6, to the near 
Hlcof cul d*. If it were taken round the remote side of the latter coil, the 
current aloi% this would neutralise the effect of the cutrent along the other. 


The Gentleman s Magazine, 

If, then, we have a telegraphic wire from a distant station in electric 
connection with the wire .a b Cy the part e f descending to an earth- 
plate, then, according as the operator at that distant station transmits 
or stops the current, the iron a c b is magnetised or demagnetised. 
The part c is commonly replaced by a flat piece pf iron, as is supposed 
to be the case with the temporary magnets shown in fig. 7, where this 
flat piece is below the coils. 

So far back as 1838 this property was applied .by Morse in 
America in the recording instrument which bears his name, and is 
now (with slight modifications) in general use not only in America 
but on the Continent. The principle of this instrument is exceed- 
ingly simple. Its essential parts are shown in fig. 7; h is the 
handle, h b the lever of the manipulator at the station a. The 
manipulator is shown in the position for receiving a message from 
the station b along the wire w. The handle h' of the manipulator 
at the station b is shown depressed, making connection at a' with the 


A / ^ 




1 He^t (t jpocA 



/a t*o4ioue>n€ 

Fig. 7. 

wire from the battery n' p'. Thus a current passes through the 
handle to c', along the wire to c and through b to the coil of the 
temporary magnet m, after circling which it passes to the earth at ^ 
and so by e' to the negative pole n'. The passage of this current 
magnetises m, which draws down the armature m. Thus the lever /, 
pulled down on this side, presses upwards the pointed style s against 
a strip of paper / which is steadily rolled off from the wheel w so 
long as a message is being received. (The mechanism for this pur- 
pose is not indicated in fig. 7.) Thus, so long as the operator at h' 
holds down the handle h', the style s marks the moving strip of 
paper, the spring r under the lever s /, drawing the style away so 
soon as the current ceases to flow and the magnet to act. If he 
simply depresses the handle for an instant, a dot is marked; if 
longer, a dash; and by various combinations of dots and dashes all 

On Some Marvels in Telegraphy. 3 1 

the letters, numerals, &c., are indicated. When the operator at b has 
completed his message, the handle h' being raised by the spring 
under it to the position in which h is shown, a message can be 
received at b. 

I have in the figure and description assumed that the current from 
either station acts directly on the magnet which works the recording 
style. Usually, in long-distance telegraphy, the current is too weak 
for this, and the magnet on which it acts is used only to complete 
the circuit of a local battery, the current from which does the real 
work of magnetising m at a or m' at b, as the case may be. A local 
battery thus employed is called a relay. 

The Morse instrument will serve to illustrate the principle of the 
methods by which facsimiles are obtained. The details of construc- 
tion are altogether different from those of the Morse instrument ; they 
also vary greatly in different instruments, and are too complex to be 
conveniently described here. But the principle, which is the essential 
point, can be readily understood. 

In working the Morse instrument, the operator at b depresses the 
handle h'. Suppose that this handle is kept depressed by a spring, 
and that a long strip of paper passing uniformly between the two 
points at a prevents contact. Then no current can pass. But if there 
is a hole in this paper, then when the hole reaches a the two metal 
points at a meet and the current passes. We have here the principle 
of the Bain telegraph. A long strip of paper is punched with small 
and long holes, corresponding to the dots and marks of a message 
by the Morse alphabet. As it passes between a metal wheel and a 
spring, both forming part of the circuit, it breaks the circuit until a 
hole allows the spring to touch the wheel, either for a short or longer 
tirae-interval, during which the current passes to the other station, 
where it sets a relay at work. In Bain's system the message is 
received on a chemically-prepared strip of paper, moving uniformly 
at the receiving station, and connected with the negative pole of the 
relay battery. When contact is made, the face of the paper is touched 
by a steel pointer connected with the positive pole, and the current 
which passes from the end of the pointer through the paper to the 
negative pole produces a blue mark on the chemically-prepared paper. ^ 
- We see that by Bain's arrangement a paper is marked ^vith dots 
and lines, corresponding to round and elongated holes, in a ribbon of 
paper. It is only a step from this to the production of facsimiles of 
writings or drawings. 

* The paper is soaked in dilute ferrocyanide of potassium, and the passage of 
the current forms a Prussian blue. 

32 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Suppose a sheet of paper so prepared as to be a conductor of 
electricity, and that a message is written on the paper with some non- 
conducting substance for ink. If that sheet were passed between the 
knobs at a (the handle h being pressed down by a spring), whilst 
simultaneously a sheet of Bain's chemically- prepared paper were 
passed athwart the steel pointer at the receiving station, there would 
be traced across the last-named paper a blue line, which would be 
broken at parts corresponding to those on the other paper where the 
non-conducting ink interrupted the current. Suppose the process 
repeated, each paper being slightly shifted so that the line traced 
across either would be parallel and very close to the former, but pre- 
cisely corresponding as respects the position of its length. Then this 
line, also, on the recording paper will be broken at parts corresponding 
to those in which the line across the transmitring paper meets 
the writing. If line after line be drawn in this way till the entire 
breadth of the transmitting pajier has been crossed by close parallel 
lines, theentire breadth of the receiving paper will be covered by closely- 
marked blue lines except where the writing has broken the contact. 
Thus a negative facsimile of the writing will be found in the manner 
indicated in figs. 8 and 9.' In reality, in processes of this kind, the 
papers (unlike the ribbons on Bain's telegraph) are not carried across 
in the way I have imagined, but are swept by successive strokes of a 
moveable pointer, along which the current flows ; but the principle is 
the same. 

It is essential, in such a process as I have described, first, that the 

' Sir W. Thomson slales, in his allogether eicellent article on the electric 
telegraph, in Nichul's Cydopirdia, that the invcDtion of this process is due to Mr. 
Bake well. 

On Some Marvels in Telegraphy. 33 

recording sheet should be carried athwart the pointer which conveys 
the marking current (or the pointer carried across the recording 
sheet) in precise accordance with the motion of the transmitting 
sheet athwart the wire or style which conveys the current to the long 
wire between the stations (or of this style across the transmitting 
sheet). The recording sheet and the transmitting sheet must also be 
shifted between each stroke by an equal amount The latter point is 
easily secured ; the former is secured by causing the mechanism 
which gives the transmitting style its successive strokes to make and 
break circuit, by which a temporary magnet at the receiving station 
is magnetised and demagnetised ; by the action of this magnet the 
recording pointer is caused to start on its motion athwart the receiving 
sheet, and moving uniformly it completes its thwart stroke at the same 
instant as the transmitting style. 

Caselli's pan telegraph admirably effects the transmission of fac- 
similes. The transmitting style is carried by the motion of a heavy 
pendulum in an arc of constant range over a cylindrical surface on 
which the paper containing the message, writing, or picture is spread. 
As the swing of the pendulum begins, a similar pendulum at the 
receiving station begins its swing ; the same break of circuit which (by 
demagnetising a temporary magnet) releases one, releases the other also. 
The latter swings in an arc of precisely the same range, and carries 
a precisely similar style over a similar cylindrical surface on which is 
placed the prepared receiving paper. In fact, the same pendulum 
at either station is used for transmitting and for receiving facsimiles. 
Nay, not only so, but each pendulum, as it swings, serves in the 
work both of transmitting and recording facsimiles. As it swings one 
way, it travels along a line over each of two messages or drawings, while 
the other pendulum in its synchronous swing traces a corresponding 
line over each of two receiving sheets ; and as it s\vings the other 
way, it traces a line on each of two receiving sheets, corresponding to 
the lines along which the transmitting style of the other is passing 
along two messages or drawings. Such, at least, is the way in which 
the instrument works in busy times. It can, of course, send a mes- 
sage, or two messages, without receiving any.* 

In Caselli's pantelegraph matters are so arranged that instead of 
a negative facsimile, like fig. 9, a true facsimile is obtained in all 
respects except that the letters and figures are made by closely-set 


' It is to be noticed, however, that the recording pointer must always mark its 
lines in the same direction, so that, unless a message is being transmitted at the 
same time that one is being received (in which case the oscillations both ways are 
utilised), the instrument works only during one half of each complete double 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1759. D 

34 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

dark lines instead of being dark throughout as in the message. The 
transmitting paper is conducting and the ink non-conducting, as in 
BakewelFs original arrangement; but instead of the conducting paper 
completing the circuit for the distant station, it completes a short 
home circuit (so to speak) along which the current travels without 
entering on the distant circuit. When the non-conducting ink breaks 
the short circuit, the current travels in the long circuit through the 
recording pointer at the receiving station ; and a mark is thus made 
corresponding to the inked part of the transmitting sheet instead of 
the blank part, as in the older plan. 

The following passage fromGuillemin's "Application of the Physical 
Forces " indicates the effectiveness of Caselli's pantelegraph not only 
as respects the character of the message it conveys, but as to rapidity 
of transmission. (I alter the measures from the metric to our usual 
system of notation.^) " Nothing is simpler than the writing of the 
pantelegraph. The message when written is placed on the surface 
of the transmitting cylinder. The clerk makes the warning signals, and 
then sets the pendulum going. The transmission of the message is 
accomplished automatically, without the clerk having any work to do, 
and consequently without [his] being obliged to acquire any special 
knowledge. Since two despatches may be sent at the same time — 
and since shorthand may be used — the rapidity of transmission may 
be considerable." " The long pendulum of Caselli's telegraph," says 
M. Quet, " generally performs about forty oscillations a minute, and 
the styles trace forty broken lines, separated from each other by less 
than the hundredth part of an inch. In one minute the lines 
described by the style have ranged over a breadth of more than half 
an inch, and in twenty minutes of nearly lo^ inches. As we can 
give the lines a length of 4J inches, it follows that in twenty minutes 
Caselli's apparatus furnishes the facsimile of the writing or draw- 
ing traced on a metallised plate 4 J inches broad by 10^ inches 
long. For clearness of reproduction the original writing must be very 
legible and in large characters." " Since 1865 the line from Paris to 
Lyons and Marseilles has been open to the public for the transmis- 
sion of messages by this truly marvellous system." 

It will easily be seen that Caselli's method is capable of many 
important uses besides the transmission of facsimiles of handwriting. 

* It seems to me a pity that in the English edition of this work the usual 
measures have not been substituted throughout. The book is not intended or 
indeed suitable for scientific readers, who alone are accustomed to the metric 
S3rstem. Other readers do not care to have a little sum in reduction to go through 
at each numerical statement. 

On Some Marvels in Telegraphy, 35 

For instance, by means of it a portrait of some person who is to be 
identified — whether fraudulent absconder, or escaped prisoner, or 
lunatic, or wife who has eloped from her husband, or husband who has 
deserted his wife, or missing child, and so on — can be sent in.a few 
minutes to a distant city where the missing person is likely to be. 
All that is necessary is that from a photograph or other portrait an 
artist employed for the purpose at the transmitting station should, in 
bold and heivy lines, sketch the lineaments of the missing person on 
one of the prepared sheets, as in fig. 10. The portrait at the receiv- 
ing station will appear as in fig. 1 1, and if necessary an artist at this 
station can darken the lines or in other ways improve the picture 
without altering the likeness. 

But now we must turn to the greatest marvel of all— the trans- 
mission of tones, tunes, and words by the electric wire. 

The transmission of tha rhythm of an air is of course a very 
simple matter. I have seen the following passage from " Lardner's 
Museum of Science and Art," 1859, quoted as describing an antici- 
pation of the telephone, though in reality it only shows what every- 
one who has heard a telegraphic indicator at work must have noticed, 
that the dick of the instrument may be made to keep time with an 
air. " We were in the Hanover Street Office, when there was a 

36 The Gentleman s Magazine, - 

pause in the business operations. Mr. M. Porter, of the office at 
Boston — the writer being at New York — asked what tune we would 
have ? We replied, * Yankee Doodle,' and to our surprise he im-^ 
mediately complied with our request. The instrument, a Morse one, 
commenced drumming the notes of the tune as perfectly and dis- 
tinctly as a skilful drummer could have made them at the head of a regi- 
ment, and many will be astonished to hear that * Yankee Doodle ' can 

travel by lightning So perfectly and distinctly were the sounds 

of the tunes transmitted, that good instrumental performers could have 
had no difficulty in keeping time with the instruments at this end of 
the wires. .... That a pianist in London should execute a fantasia 
at Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and Vienna, at the same moment, and with 
the same spirit, expression, and precision as if the instruments at 
these distant places were under his fingers, is not only within the 
limits of practicability, but really presents no other difficulty than 
may arise from the expense of the performances. From what has 
just been stated, it is clear that the time of music has been already 
transmitted, and the production of the sounds does not offer any 
more difficulty than the printing of the letters of a despatch." Un- 
fortunately, Lardner omitted to describe how this easy task was to 
be achieved. 

Reuss first in 1861 showed how a sound can be transmitted. At 
the sending station, according to his method, there is a box, into 
which, through a pipe in the side, the note to be transmitted is 
sounded. The box is open at the top, and across it, near the top, is 
stretched a membrane which vibrates synchronously with the aerial 
vibrations and responding to the note. At the middle of the membrane, 
on its upper surface, is a small disc of metal, connected by a thin 
strip of copper with the positive pole of the battery at the transmitting 
station. The disc also, when the machine is about to be put in use, 
lightly touches a point on a metallic arm, along which (while this 
contact continues) the electric current passes to the wire communi- 
cating with the distant station. At that station the wire is carried in 
a coil round a straight rod of soft iron suspended horizontally in such 
a way as to be free to vibrate between two sounding-boards. After 
forming this coil, the wire which conveys the current passes to the 
earth-plate and so home. As already explained, while the current 
passes the rod of iron is magnetised, but loses its magnetisation when 
the current ceases. 

Now, when a note is sounded in the box at the transmitting 
station, the membrane vibrates, and at each vibration the metal disc 
is separated from [the point which it lightly touches when at f^str 

On Some Marvels in Telegraphy. 37 

Thus contact is broken at regular intervals, corresponding to the rate 
of vibration dile to the note. Suppose, for instance, the note C is 
sounded; then there are 256 complete vibrations in a second, 
the electric current is therefore interrupted and renewed, and the bar 
of soft iron magnetised and demagnetised 256 times in a second. 
Now, it had been discovered by Page and Henry that when a bar of 
iron is rapidly magnetised and demagnetised, it is put into vibrations 
synchronising with the interruptions of the current, and therefore 
emits a note of the same tone as that which has been sounded into 
the transmitting box. 

Professor Heisler, in his "Lehrbuch der technischen Physik," 1866, 
wrote of Reuss's telephone : " The instrument is still in its infancy; 
however, by the use of batteries of proper strength, it already trans- 
mits not only single musical tones, but even the most intricate 
melodies, sung at one end of the line, to the other, situated at a 
great distance, and makes them perceptible there with all desirable 
distinctness." Dr. Van der Weyde, of New York, states that, after 
reading an account of Reuss*s telephone, he ,had two such instru- 
ments constructed, and exhibited them at the meeting of the Poly- 
technic Club of the American Institute. " The original sounds were 
produced at the farthest extremity of the large building (the Cooper. 
Institute), totally out of hearing of the Association; and the receiving 
instrument, standing on the table in the lecture- room, produced, with 
a peculiar and rather nasal twang, the different tunes sung into the 
box at the other end of the line ; not powerfully, it is true, but very 
distinctly and correctly. In the succeeding summer I improved the 
fonii of the box, so as to produce a more powerful vibration of the 
membrane. I also improved the receiving instrument by introducing 
several iron wires into the coil, so as to produce a stronger vibration. 
I submitted these, with some other improvements, to the meeting of 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and on 
that occasion (now seven years ago) expressed the opinion that the 
instrument contained the germ of a new method of working the 
electric telegraph, and would undoubtedly lead to further improve- 
ments in this branch of science." 

The telephonic successes recently achieved by Mr. Gray were in 
part anticipated by La Cour of Copenhagen, whose method may be 
thus described : At the transmitting station a tuning-fork is set in 
vibration. At each vibration one of the prongs touches a fine strip of 
metal completing a circuit. At the receiving station the wire conveying 
the electric current is coiled round the prongs of another tuning-fork 
of the same tone, but without touching them. The intermittent cur- 

3S The Gentleman's Magazine. 

rent, corresponding as it does with the rate of vibration proper to 
the receiving fork, sets this fork in vibration; and in La Courts 
instrument the vibrations of the receiving fork were used to complete 
the circuit of a local battery. His object was not so much the pro- 
duction of tones as the use of the vibrations corresponding to 
different tones, to act on different receiving instruments. For only a 
fork corresponding to the sending fork could be set in vibration by 
the intermittent current resulting from the latter's vibrations. So that, 
if there were several transmitting forks, each could send its own 
message at the same time, each receiving fork responding only to the 
vibrations of the corresponding transmitting fork. La Cour pro- 
posed, in fact, that his instrument should be used in combination 
with other methods of telegraphic communication. Thus, since the 
transmitting fork, whenever put in vibration, sets the local battery of 
the receiving station at work, it can be used to work a Morse instru- 
ment, or it would work an ordinary Wheatstone and Cook instniment, 
or it could be used for a panteiegraph. The same wire, when 
different forks are u^ed, could work simultaneously several instru- 
ments at the receiving station. One special use indicated by La 
Cour was the adaptation of his system to the Caselli panteiegraph, 
whereby, instead of one style, a comb of styles might be carried 
over the transmitting and recording plates. It would be necessary, 
in all such applications of his method (though, strangely enough, La 
Cour's description makes no mention of the point), that the vibra- 
tions of the transmitting fork should admit of being instantly stopped 
or " damped." 

Mr. Gray's system is more directly telephonic, as aiming rather at 
the development of sound itself than at the transmission of mes- 
sages by the vibrations corresponding to sound. A series of tuning- 
forks are used, which are set in separate vibration by fingering the 
notes of a key-board. The vibrations are transmitted to a receiving 
instrument consisting of a series of reeds, corresponding in note to 
the series of transmitting forks, each reed being enclosed in a 
sounding-box. These boxes vary in length from two feet to six 
inches, and are connected by two wooden bars, one of which carries 
an electro-magnet, round the coils of which pass the currents from 
the transmitting instrument. When a tuning-fork is set in vibration 
by the performer at the transmitting key-board, the electro-magnet is 
magnetised and demagnetised synchronously with the vibrations of 
the fork. Not only are vibrations thus imparted to the reed of cor- 
responding note, but these are synchronously strengthened by thuds 
resulting from the lengthening of the iron when magnetised. 

On Some Marvels in Telegraphy. 39 

So far as its musical capabilities are concerned, Gray's telephone 
can hardly be regarded as fulfilling all the hopes that have been 
expressed concerning telephonic music. " Dreaming enthusiasts of 
a prophetic turn of mind foretold," we learn, " that a time would 
come when future Pattis would sing on a London stage to audiences 
in New York, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, San Francisco, and 
Constantinople all at once." But the account of the first concert 
given at a distance scarcely realises these fond expectations. When 
" Home, Sweet Home," played at Philadelphia, came floating through 
the air at the Steinway Hall, New York, " the sound was like that of 
a distant organ, rather faint, for a hard storm was in progress, and 
there was consequently a great leakage of the electric current, but 
quite clear and musical. The lower notes were the best, the higher 
being sometimes almost inaudible. * The Last Rose of Summer,' 
*Com* ^ gentil,' and other melodies, followed, with more or less 
success. There was no attempt to play chords," though three or four 
notes can be sounded together. It must be confessed that the rosy 
predictions of M. Strakosch (the impresario) " as to the future of this 
instrument seem rather exalted, and we are not likely as yet to lay on 
our music from a central reservoir as we lay on gas and water, 
though the experiment was certainly a very curious one." 

The importance of Mr. Gray's, as of La Cour's inventions, depends, 
however, far more on the way in which they increase the message- 
bearing capacity of telegraphy than on their power of conveying airs to 
a distance. At the Philadelphia Exhibition Sir W. Thomson heard 
four messages sounded simultaneously by the Gray telephone. The 
Morse alphabet was used. I have mentioned that in that alphabet 
various combinations of dots and dashes are used to represent dif- 
ferent letters ; it is only necessary to substitute the short and long 
duration of a note for dots and dashes to have a similar sound 
alphabet. Suppose, now, four tuning-forks at the transmitting station, 

whose notes are do (to i \ mi, sol, and do ( rozzp^ j, or say c, e, g, 

and c^ then by each of these forks a separate message may be 
transmitted, all the messages being carried simultaneously by the 
same line to separate sounding reeds (or forks, if preferred), and 
received by different clerks. With a suitable key board, a single 
clerk could send the four messages simultaneously, striking chords 
instead of single notes, though considerable practice would be 
necessary to transform four verbal messages at once into the proper 
telephonic music, and some skill in fingering to give the proper 
diiration to each note. 

40 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

Lastly, we come to the greatest achievement of all, Prof. Graham 
Bell's vocal telephone. Some eighteen months since I had the 
pleasure of hearing from Prof. Bell in the course of a ride — all too 
short — from Boston to Salem, Mass., an account of his instrument 
as then devised, and of his hopes as to future developments. These 
hopes have since been in great part fulfilled, but I venture to predict 
that we do not yet know all, or nearly all, that the vocal telephone, 
in Bell's hands, is to achieve. 

It ought to be mentioned at the outset that Bell claims to have 
demonstrated in 1873 (a year before La Cour) the possibility of 
transmitting several messages simultaneously by means of the Morse 

Bell's original arrangement for vocal telephony was as follows f — 
At one station a drumhead of goldbeaters' skin, about 2| inches in 
diameter, was placed in front of an electro-magnet To the middle 
of the drumhead, on the side towards the magnet, was glued a circular 
piece of clockspring. A similar electro-magnet, drumhead, &c, were 
placed at the other station. When notes were sung or words spoken 
before one drumhead, the vibrations of the goldbeaters' skin carried the 
small piece of clockspring vibratingly towards and from the electro- 
magnet without producing actual contact Now, the current which 
was passing along the coil round the electro-magnet changed in 
strength with each change of position of this small piece of metaL 
The more rapid the vibrations, and the greater their amplitude, the 
more rapid and the more intense were the changes in the power of 
the electric current. Thus, the electro-magnet at the other station 
underwent changes of power which were synchronous with, and pro- 
portionate to, those changes of power in the current which were pro- 
duced by the changes of position of the vibrating piece of clockspring. 
Accordingly, the piece of clockspring at the receiving station, and 
with it the drumhead there, was caused by the electro-magnet to 
vibrate with the same rapidity and energy as the piece at the trans- 
mitting station. Therefore, as the drumhead at one station varied its 
vibrations in response to the sounds uttered in its neighbourhood, so 
the drumhead at the other station, varying its vibrations, emitted 
similar sounds. Later, the receiving drumhead was made unlike the 
transmitting one. Instead of a membrane carrying a small piece of 
metal, a thin and very flexible disc of sheet-iron, held in position 
by a screw, was used. This disc, set in vibration by the var3ring 
action of an electro-magnet, as in the older arrangement, uttered 
articulate sounds corresponding to those which, setting in motion 
the membrane at the transmitting station, caused the changes in 

Oji Some Marvels iii Telegraphy. 41 

the power of the electric current and in the action of the electro- 

At the meeting of the British Association last autumn, Sir W. 
Thomson gave the following account of the performance of this in- 
strument at the Philadelphia Exhibition : — " In the Canadian depart- 
ment " (for Prof. Bell was not at the time an American citizen) " I 
heard *To be or not to be — there's the rub/ through the electric wire ; 
but, scorning monosyllables, the electric articulation rose to higher 
flights, and gave me passages taken at random from the New York 
newspapers : — ' S. S. Cox has arrived ' (I failed to make out the * S. 
S. Cox '), * the City of New York,' * Senator Morton,' ' the Senate has 
resolved to print a thousand extra copies,' * the Americans in London 
have resolved to celebrate the coming fourth of July.' All this my 
own ears heard spoken to me with unmistakeable distinctness by the 
thin circular disc armature of just such another little electro-magnet 
as this which I hold in my hand. The words were shouted with a 
dear and loud voice by my colleague judge, Prof. Watson, at the far 
end of the line, holding his mouth close to a stretched membrane, 
carrying a piece of soft iron, which was thus made to perform in the 
neighbourhood of an electro-magnet, in circuit with the line, motions 
proportional to the sonorific motions of the air. This, the greatest by 
far of all the marvels of the electric telegraph, is due to a young 
countryman of our own, Mr. Graham Bell, of Edinburgh, and 
Montreal, and Boston, now about to become a naturalised citizen of 
the United States. Who can but admire the hardihood of invention 
which devised such very sHght means to realise the mathematical 
conception that, if electricity is to convey all the delicacies of quality 
which distinguish articulate speech, the strength of its current must 
vary continuously, and, as nearly as may be, in simple proportion to 
the velocity of a particle of air engaged in constituting the sound." 

Since these words were spoken by one of the highest authorities 
in matters telegraphic. Professor Bell has introduced some important 
modifications in his apparatus. He now employs, not an electro- 
magnet, but a permanent magnet. That is to say, instead of using 
at each station such a bar of soil iron as is shown in fig. 6, which 
becomes a magnet while the electric current is passing through the 
coil surrounding it, he uses at each station a bar of iron permanently 
magnetised (or preferably a powerful magnet made of several horse- 
shoe bars — that is, a corhpound magnet), surrounded similarly by 
coils of wire. No battery is needed. Instead of a current through 
the coils magnetising the iron, the iron already magnetised causes a 
current to traverse the coils whenever it acts, or rather whenever its 

42 The Gentleman^ s Magazine. 

action changes. If an armature were placed across its ends or poles, 
at the moment when it drew that armature to the poles by virtue of 
its magnetic power, a current would traverse the coils ; but afterwards, 
so long as the armature remained there, there would be no current. 
If an armature placed near the poles were shifted rapidly in front of 
the poles, currents would traverse the coils, or be induced, their 
intensity depending on the strength of the magnet, the length of the 
coil, and the rapidity and range of the motions. In front of the poles 
of the magnet is a diaphragm of very flexible iron (or else some other 
flexible material bearing a small piece of iron on the surface nearest 
the poles). A mouthpiece to converge the sound upon this diaphragm 
substantially completes the apparatus at each station. Professor Bell 
thus describes the operation of the instrument : — " The motion of 
steel or iron in front of the poles of a magnet creates a current of 
electricity in coils surrounding the poles of the magnet, and the 
duration of this current of electricity coincides with the duration of 
the motioniof the steel or iron moved or vibrated in the proximity of 
the magnet When the human voice causes the diaphragm to vibrate, 
electrical undulations are induced in the coils around the magnets 
precisely similar to the undulations of the air produced by the voice. 
The coils are connected with the line wire, and the undulations in- 
duced in them travel through the wire, and, passing through the coils 
of another instrument of similar construction at the other end of the 
line, are again resolved into air undulations by the diaphragm of this 
(other) instrument" 

So perfectly are the sound undulations repeated — though the 
instrument has not yet assumed its final form — that not only has the 
lightest whisper uttered at one end of a line of 140 miles been dis- 
tinctly heard at the other, but the speaker can be distinguished by 
his voice when he is known to the listener. So far as can be seen, there 
is every room to believe that before long Professor Bell's grand inven- 
tion will be perfected to such a degree that words uttered so low on the 
American side of the Atlantic that the nearest bystander cannot hear 
them will be heard distinctly after traversing 2,000 miles under the 
Atlantic, at the European end of the submarine cable — so that Sir 
W. Thomson at Valentia could tell by the voice whether Graham 
Bell, or Cyrus Field, or his late colleague Professor Watson, were 
speaking to him from Newfoundland. Yet a single wave of those 
which toss in millions on the Atlantic, rolling in on the Irish strand, 
would utterly drown the voices thus made audible after passing be- 
neath two thousand miles of ocean. 

Here surely is the greatest of telegraphic achievements. Of all the 

On Some Marvels in Telegraphy. 43 

marvels of telegraphy — and they are many — none are equal to, none 
seem even comparable with, this one. Strange truly is the history of 
the progress of research which has culminated in this noble triumph, 
wonderful the thought that from the study of the convulsive twitch- 
ings of a dead frog by Galvani, and of the quivering of delicately 
poised magnetic needles by Ampere, should gradually have arisen 
through successive developments a system of communication so 
perfect and so wonderful as telegraphy has already become, and 
promising yet greater marvels in the future. 

The last paragraph had barely been written when news arrived of 
another form of telephone, surpassing Gray's and La Courts in some 
respects as a conveyor of musical tones, but as yet unable to speak 
like Bell's. It is the invention of Mr. Edison, an American electri- 
cian. He calls it the motograph. He discovered about iw^ years 
ago the curious property on which the construction of the instrument 
depends. If a piece of paper moistened with certain chemical solu- 
tions is laid upon a metallic plate connected with the positive pole of 
a galvanic battery, and a platinum wire connected with the negative 
pole is dragged over the moistened paper, the wire slides over the 
paper like smooth iron over ice — the usual friction disappearing so 
long as the current is passing from the wire to the plate through the 
paper. At the receiving station of Mr. Edison's motograph there is 
a resonating box from one face of which extends a spring bearing a 
platinum point, which is pressed by the spring upon a tape of chemi- 
cally prepared paper. This tape is steadily unwound, drawing by 
its friction the platinum point, and with it the face of the resonator, 
outwards. This slight strain on the face of the resonator continues 
so long as no current passes from the platinum point to the metallic 
drum over which the moistened tape is rolling. But so soon as a 
current passes, the friction immediately ceases, and the face of the 
resonator resumes its normal position. If then at the transmitting 
station there is a membrane or a very fine diaphragm (as in Reuss's 
or Bell's arrangement) which is set vibrating by a note of any given 
tone, the current is as in those arrangements transmitted and stopped 
at intervals corresponding to the tone, and the face of the resonating 
box is fireed and pulled at the same intervals. Hence, it speaks the 
corresponding tone. The instrument appears to have the advantage 
over Gray's in range. In telegraphic communication Gray's telephone 
is limited to about one octave. Edison's extends from the deepest 
bass notes to the highest notes of the human voice, which, when 
magnets are employed, are almost inaudible. But Edison's motograph 
has yet to learn to speak. 

44 Tlie Gentleman s Magazine. 

Other telegraphic marvels might well find a place here, if space 
were available. I might speak of the wonders of submarine tele- 
graphy, and of the marvellous delicacy of the arrangements by which 
messages by the Atlantic Cable are read, and not only read but made 
to record themselves. I might dwell, again, on the ingenious printing 
telegraph of Mr. Hughes, which sets up its own types, inks them, and 
prints them, or on the still more elaborate plan of the Chevalier 
Bonelli " for converting the telegraph stations into so many type- 
setting workshops." But space would altogether fail me to deal pro- 
perly with these and kindred marvels. There is, however, one appli- 
cation of telegraphy, especially interesting to the astronomer, to which 
I must devote the remaining space available to me : I mean, the 
employment of electricity as a regulator of time. Here again it is 
the principle of the system, rather than details of construction, which 
I propose to describe. Suppose we have a clock not only of excel- 
lent construction, but under astronomical surveillance, so that when 
it is a second or so in error it is set right again by the stars. Let the 
pendulum of this clock beat seconds ; and at each beat let a galvanic 
current be made and broken. This may be done in many ways — 
thus the pendulum may at each swing tilt up a very light metallic 
hammer, which forms part of the circuit when down; or the end of 
the pendulum may be covered with some non-conducting substance 
which comes at each swing between two metallic springs in very light 
contact, separating them and so breaking circuit; or in many other 
ways the circuit may be broken. When the circuit is made, let the 
current travel along a wire which passes through a number of stations 
near or remote, traversing at each the coils of a temporary magnet. 
Then, at each swing of the pendulum of the regulating clock, each 
magnet is magnetised and demagnetised. Thus each, once in a 
second, draws to itself and then releases its armature, which is 
thereupon pulled back by a spring. Let the armature, when drawn 
to the magnet, move a lever by which one tooth of a wheel is carried 
forward. Then the wheel is turned at the rate of one tooth per 
second. This wheel communicates motion to others in the usual 
way. In fact, we have at each station a clock driven, not by a weight 
or spring and with a pendulum which allows one tooth of an escape- 
ment wheel to pass at each swing, but by the distant regulating clock 
which turns a driving wheel at the rate of one tooth per second, that 
is, one tooth for each swing of the regulating clock's pendulum. Each 
clock, then, keeps perfect time with the regulating clock. In astro- 
nomy, where it is often of the utmost importance to secure perfect 
synchronism of observation, or the power of noting the exact differ- 

On Some Marvels in Telegraphy. 45 

ence of time between observations made at distant stations, not only 
can the same clock thus keep time for two observers hundreds of 
miles apart, but each observer can record by the same arrangement 
the moment of the occurrence of some phenomenon. For if a tape 
be unwound automatically, as in the Morse instrument, it is easy so 
to arrange matters that every second's beat of the pendulum records 
itself by a dot or short line on the tape, and that the observer can 
with a touch make (or break) contact at the instant of obsers'ation, 
and so a mark be made properly placed between two seconds' marks — 
thus giving the precise time when the observation was made. 
Such applications, however, though exceedingly interesting to astrono- 
mers, are not among those in which the general public take chief 
interest There was one occasion, however, when astronomical time- 
relations were connected in the most interesting manner with one of 
the greatest of all the marvels of telegraphy: I mean, when the 
" Great Eastern " in mid -ocean was supplied regularly with Greenwich 
time, and this so perfectly (and therefore with such perfect indication 
of her place in the Atlantic), that when it was calculated from the 
time-signals that the buoy left in open ocean to mark the place of 
the cnt cable had been reached, and the captain was coming on deck 
with several officers to look for it, the buoy announced its presence 
by thumping the side of the great ship. 


46 The Gentlentatis Magazine. 



THE most lasting monument of a nation's greatness is perhaps, 
after all, that airiest of castles in the air, its folk-lore. The 
palaces of Agamemnon and Menelaus are buried under the dust 
of centuries beyond rediscovery and identification, /a<^ Schliemann ; 
but their glory and that of heroic Greece live in the page of Homer, 
indelible, cere perennius. And even without a poet of supreme 
genius the result is the same. Such is the vital force of popular fancy, 
that its creations survive all changes of time, and locality, and custom. 
Stories migrate from one quarter of the globe to another with 
accidentals varied in all possible ways ; but the essential features 
remain unchanged, and the hero of many a nursery story shows un- 
mistakable attributes of a mythic hero, if not of the Sun himself. 
Grimm's fairy tales are full of such instances. 

Next to the Fall of Troy and the Arthurian legends, perhaps no 
story or agglomeration of stories has left so many and so important 
traces in international fiction as the tale of Sigurd or Siegfried and his 
race, the god-bom, heroic Volsungs. Considering, indeed, the political 
insignificance and the remoteness of the island in which this story took 
its earliest surviving form, this enormous success — if that modem term 
may be applied — seems at first singularly out of proportion. But it must 
be remembered that Iceland was little more than the storehouse of these 
old traditions, which were the common property of the Teuto-Scan- 
dinavian race long before the Norsemen set foot on the northem isle. 
This claim has been repeatedly vindicated by the poets of the various 
Teutonic tribes from the earliest middle ages down to our time. 
It is, indeed, not many months ago since the attention of the culti- 
vated classes in this country and in Germany was directed towards the 
story of Sigurd by two important events — the performance of Wagner's 
tetralogy, " The Ring of the Niblung," at Bayreuth last August, and the 
appearance of Mr. Morris's "The Story of Sigurd the Volsung." 
With the latter work we are chiefly concemed here ; but before con- 
sidering its most important incidents and the manner in which they 

The Story of Sigurd and its Sources, 47 

have been drawn from the original sources, it will be well to premise 
a few remarks as to the nature and genesis of these sources themselves. 

The story of the godlike hero who slays the dragon and wins an 
enormous treasiu*e of shining gold, and is in his turn slain by the trea- 
chery of his foes, is by most modem scholars identified, or at any rate 
connected, with the " solar myth," a convenient heading comprehend- 
ing a vast deal of deep learning, together with an equal amount of 
wild conjecture. Fortunately there is no need for us to tread on this 
dangerous ground. When we first meet with Sigurd, Fafnir*s bane, 
he is decidedly a man of tangible flesh and bone and a stout heart, 
whatever he may have been at a previous period. It is true that 
this dUmt dates from a comparatively late epoch. The elder or 
poetic Edda is generally ascribed to an Icelandic priest called Sae- 
mund, whose birth took place about the middle of the eleventh 
century. He is described as a man of great learning, who spent 
part of his life in foreign travels, from which he brought back, 
amongst other accomplishments, a deep insight into magic mysteries. 
The suspicion of forbidden knowledge attaching to most learned 
men in the middle ages is, in his case, suflficiently accounted for by 
his evident predilection for the old religion of his country, superseded 
about fifty years before his birth by the new light of Christianity. 
The fidelity with which he has preserved the pagan traditions, unal- 
loyed by any attempt, so common amongst Christian priests, at 
smuggling the new ideas into the old national myths, does all possible 
credit to the liberal-mindedness of Saemund. 

An attempt of the kind described is observable in the so-called 
younger or prose Edda (the elder work is written in alliterative verse), 
generally ascribed to Snorri Sturluson. Especially in the " Foreword to 
the Edda," Christian and even Greek ideas and names appear in 
curious juxtaposition with Odin and the gods of Valhall. This 
" Foreword," however, is most probably of a later date than other 
parts of the collection, and many of the earlier chapters offer wel- 
come additional details regarding northern mythology and legend. 

The two Eddas are the most famed collections of ancient sagas. 
But besides the stories told in these, there were and are afloat in 
Iceland innumerable traditions more or less identified with certain 
periods and localities, but all pointing back to a great mythical 
centre. It is, indeed, not without pathetic significance to see the 
flower of song and story blossoming forth in the midst of storm and 
snow — to find, in this practical age of ours, the inhabitants of a 
remote island whiling away the terrible nights of a northern winter 
by remembrances of an age of national greatness no more real 


43 The Gentleman s Magazitte. 

perhaps, from the historian's point of view, than the glories of 
Valhall itself. 

With some of these sagas, as for instance the story of Gretir the 
Bold, the friends of Mr. Morris's poetry are familiar through his 
excellent translations j another, the Laxdaela Saga, is the source of 
the weird story of love and revenge, "The Lovers of Gudrun," in the 
" Earthly Paradise." But by far the most important one amongst the 
number is the so-called Volsunga Saga, also translated by Mr. 
Morris, with the assistance of his Icelandic friend, Mr. Eirikr Mag- 
niisson. This is the most complete Icelandic treatment of Sigurd's 
life and death and the further tragic issues thereof, and may in 
some respects be compared with the greatest epic productions of 
other nations. Although written in prose, its language rises fre- 
quently to the simple grandeur of popular poetry, and, barring the 
Odyssey, there is perhaps no narrative poem in existence as fiilly 
imbued with and representative of the spirit of the country where it 
was fashioned. The Volsunga Saga belongs to the twelfth century, 
and is at any rate considerably later than the verse Edda, which is, 
indeed, one of its sources. But, being chiefly concerned with one 
hero and his surroundings, its design is naturally more precise, its 
colouring more vivid. From this saga the incidents of Mr. Morris's 
poem are mainly drawn. 

But his attempt at bringing the grand old story home to the 
feelings of contemporaries was preceded by several others, one of 
which at least ought to receive passing mention here. It is the so- 
called " Nibelungenlied," or, more properly, ** Der Nibelunge Noth," 
the Need of the Niblungs, a mediaeval German poem, dating in its 
present form from about the beginning of the thirteenth century — that 
is, fifty years later than the Volsunga Saga. Considering this short 
interval, it is astonishing to note the difference of conception in the 
two treatments. In the Icelandic story, purely mythical traits inces- 
santly commingle with the human events ; and the supreme god, 
slightly disguised as a wanderer, " one-eyed and seeming ancient," 
appears on the scene more than once. In the German poem this 
connection with another world is entirely severed. The ancient 
heroes are converted into mediaeval knights, and on rare occasions 
only does the poet try to grapple with the supernatural features of 
the story transmitted to him, which, naturally enough, he finds it 
difficult to make agree with the realistic colouring of his picture. 
The reasons for such a divergence between the two tales are obvious. 
In Iceland the pagan traditions remained alive till a comparatively 
late period, and even after that the sagas were preserved by the 

The Story of Sigurd arid its Sources. 49 

seclusion of the country and the zeaj of patriotic collectors from the 
inroad of heterogeneous elements, which, on the contrary, were by 
the German priests purposely engrafted on the original myths. The 
modernising tendency resulting from the latter process could not 
but prove detrimental to the unity and continuity of the Germap 
epic The omission, for instance, of the vows exchanged by Siegfried 
and Brynhild wipes the idea of tragic guilt from the fate of the 
hero, and lowers the motive of Brynhild^s revenge to the ordinary 
spite and envy of a narrow-minded woman. But, on the other hand, 
the German treatment has done an enormous service to the old 
tradition by localising it in one of the most beautiful spots of the 
Fatherland. The " Rhine," vaguely used in the Edda as an equiva- 
lent for running water, has in the " Nibelungenlied " become the 
great German river, and especially Wagner's drama has gained 
immensely by this connection with a scene dear to all lovers of 
natiu-e and poetry. 

Mr. Morris owes little to the * lied ' as far as the incidents of his 
story are concerned. His mind, strange to say, is much more 
thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the old tradition than that of 
the German poet six hundred years ago. But with regard to another 
feature he is undoubtedly indebted to the treatment under discus- 
sion. I am speaking of his metre. This metre has been a sore 
puzzle to the crirics of "Sigurd." It has been described as "ana- 
paestic," " dactylic," " English ballad metre," and what not. Even 
the author of the masterly article on Mr. Morris's poem in the 
Athencnim of Dec. 9, 1876 seems undecided on this point. He 
speaks of English hexameters, which Mr. Morris's lines undoubtedly 
are in a certain sense — in so far, namely, as they contain six 
high-toned or accentuated syllables. But a couplet like this, chosen 
at random— 

The shapen ancient token that hath no change nor end, 
No change and no beginning, no flaw nor God to mend — 

distinctly shows that the fundamental scheme of the metre in " Sigurd'* 
is neither dactylic nor anapaestic, but iambic ; and a comparison of 
the same couplet with the very first verse of the " Nibelungenlied " — 

Uns ist in alten maeren — wunders vil geseit — 

further proves that both metres are identical, or, in other words, that 
Mr. Morris has adopted the ".Langzeile," the long-line of the old 
German poem, with such modifications as the genius of the language 
or his individual bias seemed to require. One of these modifications 
is the more frequent introduction of two instead of one short syllable 

VOU CCXLI. NO. 1759. E 

56 The Centtemaiis Magazine, 

in the thesis, especially at the beginning of the line, which produces 
the appearance of anapaestic metre above alluded to. But this license 
is by no means uncommon in the " Nibelungenlied," and may 
indeed be derived from the indifference with which the number of 
low-toned syllables is treated in the old alliterative verse. The 
caesura, lies in both poems after the third foot, and is of such force 
as to admit of the introduction of an additional short syllable, not 
othenvise to be accounted for by the metrical scheme — a pheno- 
menon which, by the way, occurs also in the genuine heroic verse 
of mediaeval French and Provencal. 

After this short excursion on technical grounds, which seemed 
desirable in the interest both of Mr. Morris and of his readers, 
we return to the story as we found it in the Volsunga Saga. 

The ordinary modem reader taking up the Saga or either of the 
Eddas without preparation would probably see in them little more 
than a confused accumulation of impossible adventures and deeds of 
prowess, with an admixture of incest, fratricide, and other horrors. But 
on looking closer one discovers a certain plan in this entanglement, a 
plan much obscured by the unbridled fancy of the old narrators and 
hardly realised by themselves, but which, if properly sifted, amounts 
to what, in modern parlance, we should call a moral or idea. To 
" point this moral," to consistently develop this idea, is the task of the 
modem poet courageous enough to grapple with such a subject 
Two ways are open to him. Either he may wholly abandon the 
sequence of the old tale, and group its disjecta membra round a 
leading idea as a centre, or else he may adhere to the order and 
essence of the legend as originally told, only emphasising such points 
as are essential to the significance of the story, and omitting or 
throwing into comparative shade those incidents which by their nature 
betray themselves to be arbitrary additions of later date. Wagner 
has chosen the former way, Mr. Morris the latter. This fact, and 
the divergent requirements of the drama and the epic, sufficiently 
account for their difference of treatment. The leading idea in both 
cases remains the same ; it is the fatal curse which attaches to the 
gold, or, which is the same in a moral sense, to the desire for gold — 
attri sacra fames. 

At first sight the tale of Sigurd, Fafnir's bane, seems to have 
little connection with this idea. It is briefly this. Sigurd, the son 
of Sigmund the Volsung, is brought up at the court of King Elf, the 
second husband of his mother after Sigmund has been slain in 
battle. With a sword fashioned from the shards of his father's 
weapon he slays Fafnir, an enormous worm or dragon, and possesses 

The Story of Sigurd and its Sources. 5 1 

himself of the treasure watched by the monster, including a ring and 
the "helm of awing/' the latter in the " Nibelungenlied " converted into 
the " tamkappe," a magic cap or mantle which makes the bearer 
invisible and endows him with supernatural strength. Tasting of the 
blood of the dragon, he understands the language of birds, and an 
eagle tells him of a beautiful maiden lying asleep on a rock, called 
Hindfell, surrounded by a wall of wavering fire. Through it Sigurd 
rides, and awakes Brynhild the sword-maiden, or Valkyrie, from her 
ms^c slumber. Love naturally follows. The pair live together on 
Hindfell for a season, and Brynhild teaches the youth the runes of her 
wisdom, a conception of woman's refining and civilising mission 
frequently met with in old Germanic tales. When Sigurd leaves her 
to seek new adventures, they plight the troth of eternal love ; and 

Then he set the ling on her finger, and once, if ne'er again, 

They kissed and clung together, and their hearts were full and fain. 

From Brynhild's rock Sigurd journeys to a realm " south of the 
Rhine," where dwell the kingly brothers, Gunnar, Hogni, and Guttorm, 
the Niblungs, together with their sister Gudrun, " the fairest of maidens," 
and their mother Grimhild, "a wise wife" and a "fierce-hearted 
woman," as the Volsunga Saga alternately describes her. It is through 
a love-philter brewed by her that Sigurd forgets the vows exchanged 
with Brynhild, and becomes enamoured of Gudrun, whom he soon 
after weds. So powerful is the charm, that the very name of his former 
love has been wiped from Sigurd's memory, and he willingly under- 
takes the task to woo and win Brynhild for his brother Gunnar. For 
that purpose he, by means of his magic cap, assumes Gunnafs sem- 
blance, and, after having once more crossed the wall of wavering flame, 
compels Brynhild to become his bride. But, faithful to his promise, 
he places a drawn sword between himself and the maid "as they lie 
on one bed together." On parting from her he receives back from 
Br}'nhild his own ring, given to her at Hindfell in the days of their 
bliss. Sigurd then returns to Gunnar and resumes his own form, and 
all return home, the king leading his unwilling bride in triumph. 

The following events are the outgrowth of the tragic guilt thus 
incurred. Sigurd reveals the secret of Brynhild's wooing to his wife, 
and allows her to take possession of the fatal ring, which she again, 
during a quarrel, shows to Gunnar's wife. Brynhild, thus informed of 
the fraud practised on her, thinks of vengeance, and incites her hus- 
band and his brothers to kill Sigurd. The deed is done while Sigurd 
lies asleep in his chamber with Gudrun, or, according to the more 
poetic version of the German epic, while he bends over a brook in 
the forest to quench his thirst after a day's hunting. But as soon as 

£ 2 

5 9 The Genilentdfis Magazine. 

her beloved foe is killed the old passion, never quenched, rises up 
again in Brynhild's heart To be united with her lover in death, she 
pierces her breast with a sword, and one pyre consumes both. 

With this climax Wagner very properly concludes his drama. 
But the epic poet loves to follow the course of events to their ultimate 
consequences, and Mr. Morris, in accordance with the Volsunga 
Saga, proceeds to relate how, after many years of mournful widowhood, 
Gudrun is married to Atli, a mighty king, the brother of Brynhild. 
Eager to become possessed of Sigurd's treasure, he invites the 
Niblungs, its actual owners, to his country, and here the kingly 
brothers and all their followers are killed by base treachery after 
the most heroic resistance. They refuse sternly to ransom their 
lives by a discovery of the hoard which, previous to their depar- 
ture, they have hidden at the bottom of a lake, and which thus is 
irrecoverably lost to mankind. Gudrun has incited her husband to 
the deed, and has looked on calmly while her kinsmen were slain one 
after another. But when all are dead, and the murder of Sigurd has 
been revenged, the feeling of blood-relationship, so powerful amongst 
northern nations, is reawakened in her bosom. While Atli and his earls 
are asleep she sets fire to the kingly hall, and her wretched husband 
falls by her own hand. It is characteristic of the Icelandic epic that 
after all these fates and horrors Gudrun lives for a number of years, 
and is yet again married to a third husband. But to this length even 
Mr. Morris refuses to accompany the tale. In accordance with the 
Volsunga Saga, his Gudrun casts herself into the sea; but the waves do 
not carry her " to the burg ^ of King Jonakr, a mighty king and lord 
of many folk." The magnificent lines in which we hear the last of 
the ill-fated queen may close this sketch of the story: — 

Then Gudrun girded her raiment, on the edge of the deep she stood, 
She looked o'er the shoreless water, and cried out o'er the measureless flood : 
** Oh sea, I stand before thee ; and I, who was Sigurd's wife, 
- By his brightness unforgotten I bid thee deliver my life 
From the deeds and the longing of days, and the lack I have woil of the earth, 
And the wrong amended by wrong, and the bitter wrong of my birth ! " 
She hath spread out her arms as she spake it, and away from the earth she leapt, 
And ait off the tide of returning, for the sea waves o'er her swept, 
And their will is her wiU henceforward; and who knoweth the deeps of the sea, 
And the wealth of the bed of Gudrun, and the days that yet shall be ? " 

All this is very grand and weird, the reader will say, but where is 
the moral, the ideal essence of which these events are but the earthly 
reflex ? To this essence we gradually ascend by inquiring into the 
mythological sources of the tale, by asking who is Sigurd, whence 
does he come, on what mission is he sent, and by whom ? also, what 

The Story of Sigurd and its Sources. 53 

IS the significance of the treasure watched by a dragon and coveted by 
all mankind ? This treasure, we then shall find, and the curse attaching 
to it ever since it was robbed from Andvari, the water-elf, is the key- 
note of the whole story. The curse proves fatal to all its successive 
owners, from Andvari himself and Fafnir, who, for its sake, kills his 
father, down to Sigurd and Brynhild and the Niblung brothers. Nay, 
Odin himself, the supreme god, becomes subject to the curse of the 
* gold through having once coveted it, and we dimly discern that the 
ultimate doom of the Aesir, the Ragnarok, or Dusk of the Gods, of 
which the Voluspa speaks, is intimately connected with the same 
baneful influence. It further becomes evident that Sigurd the 
Volsung, the descendant of Odin, is destined to wrest the treasure 
and the power derived from it from the Niblungs, the dark or 
cloudy people who threaten the bright god-world of Valhall with 
destruction. And this leads us back to a still earlier stage of the 
myth, in which Sigurd himself becomes the symbol of the celestial 
luminary conquering night and misty darkness, an idea repeatedly 
hinted at by Mr. Morris, and splendidly illustrated by Wagner when 
Si^;fried appears on the stage illumined by the first rays of the 
rising sun. In the work of the German poet all this is brought out 
with a distinctness of which only dramatic genius of the highest 
order is capable. With an astounding grasp of detail, and with a 
continuity of thought rarely equalled, Wagner has remoulded the con- 
fused and complex organism of the old tale, omitting what seemed 
unnecessary, and placing in juxtaposition incidents organically con- 
nected but separated by the obtuseness of later sagamen. Like 
Sigurd himself he has recovered the pure gold of poetry from the 
cavern of obscured tradition. 

Mr. Morris, as has been said before, proceeds on a different 
principle. His first object is to tell a tale, and to tell it as nearly as 
possible in the spirit and according to the letter of the old sagas. 
In this he has succeeded in a manner at once indicative of his high 
poetic gifts and of a deep sympathy with the spirit of the northern 
myth, which breathes in every line and in every turn of his phraseo- 
logy. To compare the peculiar tinge of his language with the 
ordinary archaisms and euphuisms of literary poets would be mis- 
taking a field flower of sweetest fragrance for its counterpart in a 
milliner's shop-window. It is true that he also hints at the larger 
philosophic and moral issues of the tale alluded to in the above. 
But when he refers to the end of the gods brought about by their 
own guilty or to the redeeming mission of Sigurd, it is done in the 
mysterioUSi opt to say l^alf-conscious, manner of the saga itself, ^d 

54 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

the effect is such as, from his own point of view, he intended it and 
could not but intend it to be. 

But there is another side to the question. The Eddas and the 
Tale of the Volsungs are, as we have seen, not the work of one 
master-hand, but the accumulation of successive ages loosely put 
together by an obscure collector. In such collections it is a com- 
mon phenomenon to. see original features of the story appear in 
various treatments, sometimes ill-treatments, according to the intelli- 
gence of the sagaman. These different versions of one and the 
same incident gradually develop into distinct stories, and are, as 
such, inserted in the collection by uhcritical mediaeval editors. 
Parallelisms of this kind abound in the Volsunga Saga. The visit to 
a distant land in spite of warnings and omens, and the betrayal 
by their respective hosts of the Volsungs in the first and of the 
Niblungs in the last book of Mr. Morris's poem, are not above the 
suspicion of being different versions of the same original idea. The 
prophetic knowledge, by dint of which various people foresee and 
foretell the ultimate fate of Sigurd, is another instance of the same 
kind. But this multiplying tendency of the saga reaches its climax 
when Sigmund the Volsung is credited with offspring by no fewer than 
three different unions, Sigurd being the son of Hiordis instead of Signy. 
The connection of the latter with Sigmund, her brother, is evidently 
introduced in the oldest version of the tale in order that Sigurd, the 
redeemer of the gods, may have the unmixed blood of the Volsungs, 
or, which is the same, of Ocjin the supreme god himself, in his veins ; 
and the later sagaman, in ignoring this circumstance, has entirely 
destroyed the significance without by any means abating the repul- 
siveness of the incident. In adhering strictly to his source in this 
instance, I cannot help thinking that Mr. Morris has sacrificed the 
right and even the duty of the modem poet. 

There is yet another such duty to which short reference must 
here be made; this is the artistic construction and delineation of 
character. The old tales furnish excellent materials for this purpose, 
touches sometimes of the utmost subtlety and truth of observation ; 
but they never work up these detached features to a finished picture. 
As regards this point, a comparison of the different methods employed 
by Wagner and Mr, Morris respectively leads again to most interest- 
ing considerations. By the former his heroes and heroines are 
designed with a view to immediate dramatic action; their every nerve 
and fibre is instinct with spontaneous life and energy. ' Mr. Morris, 
on the other hand, loves epic breadth, and the development of his 
conceptions fi-equently ?ind purposely is expanded over ^ number gf 

The Story of Sigurd and its Sources. 55 

yeais. Some of his finest and most characteristic effects are achieved 
by this duration of motive not only in " Sigurd," but also in his previous 
tales, especially in those drawn from Icelandic sources. The possi- 
bility of people nursing their wrath for years and years, of their living 
together on terms of social intercourse, but never losing sight for a 
moment of the final goal of revenge, has never been more strikingly 
illustrated than in that weird tale of affection turned to deadly 
hatred, "ITie Lovers of Gudrun." The difference of conception above 
referred to becomes most apparent in the character of the hero as 
delineated by the two poets in their individual fashion. Wagner's 
Si^fried is essentially and intensely young. He passes through 
dangers and performs heroic deeds with all the unconcemai- 
ness of youth. His love for Brynhild is sincere; but when once his 
thoughts are averted from her by the magic draught, his heart turns 
with genuine fervour towards the blooming Niblung maiden, and only 
in the hour of death does he remember his first and deeper passion. 
Mr. Morris's Sigurd is a dreamer of dreams, more of an earnest 
thinking man than Siegfried, although less of a god-inspired hero. 
He also is overpowered by Grimhild's love-philter, but his infatuation 
is momentary. He marries Gudrun more from a feeling of pity than 
of love; and after he has recognised the fatal error, he languidly tries 
to avert 'the doom which, he knows, awaits all concerned in the 
deed This touch of fatalism and resignation is, from a narrative 
point of view, more impressive than Siegfried's buoyant carelessness; 
the only difficulty being to conceive how such a character should 
have so easily swerved from its first affection. For of this awkward 
fact the love-philter is, after all, but an apologetic symbolisation. 

After liaving tried to show as far as was possible within the given 
space how Mr. Morris has succeeded in assimilating to his individual 
purpose the matter of his original, it now remains for me to add a few 
words as to the manner, the literary style, in which this difficult 
task has been accomplished. This cannot be done better than by 
placing face to face a passage from the Volsunga Saga and the treat- 
ment of the same situation in " The Story of Sigurd." The scene 
chosen occiurs at the wedding of Signy, Sigmund's sister, to King 
Siggeir, the treacherous host and ultimate murderer of her kinsfolk. 
The stranger, it need hardly be added, is Odin the god, and the 
sword he smites into the trunk of the tree the same with which Sigurd 
kills the dragon. 

"The tale tells that great fires were made' endlong the hall, 
and the great tree aforesaid stood midmost thereof Withal folk saw 
that whenas men sat by the fires in the evening, a certain man came 

56 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

into the hall, unknown of aspect to all men; and suchlike array 
he had that over him was a spotted cloak, and he was barefoot, 
and had Hnen breeches knit tight even unto the bone, and he had a 
sword in his hand as he went up to the Branstock, and a slouched 
hat upon his head. Huge he was, and seeming ancient, and one-eyed. 
So he drew his sword and smote it into the tree-trunk, so that it sank 
in up to the hilt ; and all held back from greeting the man. Then 
he took up the sword^and said — * Whoso draweth this sword from 
this stock shall have the same as a gift from me, and shall find in good 
sooth that never bare he better sword in hand than is this.' There- 
with out went the old man from the hall ; and none knew who he was, 
or whither he went." (Volsunga Saga, Englished by Morris and 
Magnilsson.) Of this simple germ the following is the modem 
growth and development : 

Thea into the Volsung dwelling a mighty man there strode, 

One-eyed and seeming ancient, yet bright his visage glowed : 

Cloud-blue was the hood upon him, and his kirtle gleaming-grey 

As the latter morning sundog when the storm is on the way: 

A bill he bore on his shoulder, whose mighty ashen beam 

Burnt bright with the flame of the sea and the blended silver's gleam. 

And such was the guise of his raiment as the Volsung elders had told 

Was borne by their fathers* fathers, and the first that warred in the wold. 

So strode he to the Branstock, nor greeted any lord. 

But forth from his cloudy raiment he drew a gleaming sword, 

And smote it deep in the tree bole, and the wild hawks overhead 

Laughed 'neath the naked heaven as at last he spake and said: 

** Earls of the Goths and Volsungs, abiders on the earth, 

L.O there amid the Branstock a blade of plenteous worth ! 

The folk of the war- wand's forgers wrought never better steel 

Since the first burg of heaven uprose for man- folk's weal. 

Now let the man among you whose heart and hand may shift 

To pluck it from the oakwood e'en take it for my gift. 

Then ne'er, but his own heart falter, its point and edge shall fail 

Until the night's beginning and the ending of the tale." 

So sweet his speaking sounded, so wise his words did seem. 

That moveless all men sat there, as in a happy dream 

We stir not lest we waken ; but there his speech had end, 

And slowly down the hall -floor and outward did he wend. 

And none would cast him a question or follow on his ways. 

For they knew that the gift was Odin's, a sword for the world to praise. 

If space permitted, I would quote also the version by Wagner of 
the same scene, which occurs as a narrative in the second part of the 
tetralogy, the " Valkyrie." But for this I must refer the reader to 
the English translation of the work by Mr. Alfred Forman, published 
;i few weeks ago, 




IF the six syllables of the Greek word i\ii\^o(ivv7\ have dwindled 
down, through philological wear and tear, into the monosyllabic 
English equivalent of " alms," the metamorphoses which the word 
«i<nrapayoc has undergone, till it assumed in our vernacular the terse 
but delusive form of " grass," are no less destructive and peculiar. 
The analogy, however, between the two words is not complete ; for, 
whilst " alms " is the only representative of its Greek original, the 
words which represent atnrapayog are numerous and diversified. To 
speak merely of the English of the last century and a half, we find 
the following forms in the subjoined descending scale of linguistic 
decay : — asparagus — sparagus — sparragus — speragus — asparagrass — 
sparagrass — speragrass — sparrergrass — sparrowgrass — ^grass. 

In comparison with these vulgar offshoots from the original, these 
turionts * from the asparagus root, the older English ** sperage " is a 
polite and refined derivative. 

We cannot trace the cultivation of asparagus in England any 
further back than the close of the sixteenth century, and from that 
date till the middle of the last century the two expressions " sperage " 
and " asparagus" were used indiscriminately by persons of education. 

The homely form " sperage " seems as if it had been manufac- 
tured expressly to obviate the monstrosities to which the classical 
asparagus rapidly gave birth. As early, indeed, as the year 1611 we 
find, among the entries in the household book of Sir William Fitz- 
william, of Milton, the following item : " Twoe roots of sparrowgres, 
i2i£" This is altogether a curious expression ; the price is high, the 
extent of the purchase small, and the orthography suggestive, as indi- 
cating that the associative principle tended then rather to the ornitho- 
logical than to the botanical corruption of these later days,^ whilst 
the limited number may show that the worthy knight wished to 
experimentalise before going in for " sparrowgres " culture en grand, 

' " Turio " is the botanical term for the shoots of the asparagus and similar 

* In the form "sparrowgoose," mentioned by Skinner, that most fatuous 
exponent of the eruditio ad absurdum skilfully mana^e4 to combine the 
SppclUtion? Qf two birds, 

58 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

The form " sperage," however, was by far the more usual one in 
ordinary parlance,^ though the classical term was often employed by 
botanists. This is shown by the following quotations from some of 
the authors in whose works the word occurs. In Holland's Pliny 
(1601), we find : "As touching sperages^ there is not a herb in the 
garden whereof there is so great care taken of them," whilst in the 
same work both terms appear in juxtaposition : " Now there is a 
middle sort of these sperages, not so civile and gentle as the asparagus 
of the garden, and yet more kind and mild than the corrudcB ^ of the 
field." In Sylvester's translation of " The Furies " of Du Bartas 
(1605) the following passage occurs : — 

And unites so well 
Sargons and goats, the sperage and the rush.' 

In Fletcher's " Differences," which was published in 1623, we read 
as follows : — " Eating of Carduus benedictus, of rue, onyons, anise 
seed, garlike, stalkes of sperage^ fenell, fengreeke, &c ; " and in Ray's 
" Catalogus Plantarum Angliae " (1667) we find, as explanation of the 
botanical asparagus : — " Sperage — found in sundry places, as in the 
marshes near Bristow, about Harwich in Essex. I found it growing 
on the clifis at the Lezard point in Comwal." 

The natural abbreviation sparagus was also employed, and we 
find that this identical suppression of the initial " a " had also 
taken place in Latin, as the reading " sparagus " occurs, according 
to Nonius, in Varronius. It can scarcely be accounted a vulgarism, 
and indeed it was constantly used by writers of the beginning of the 
last century. In Congreve's translation of Juvenal we read — 

Next that shall niountain sparagus be laid, 
PuU'd by some plain but cleanly country-maid.* 

* The forms "spurge" and "spurey" are rightly queried in Latham; whilst 
the form *' sparage," which is given by Dr. Johnson, but which Nares says he has 
never come across, is used in Cotgrave (1650). Dr. Johnson made a mistake, how- 
ever, in saying "from the French asparage" which is a form which the word has 
never assumed in that language. Few words have the termination "age" in 
French which have not been formed through the Low-Latin suffix of "a/kvw." 

' " Carruda^^ is the classical and botanical name for the wild asparagus. 
' " The habitat of the wild asparagus is marshy ground near the sea, productive 
also of rushes."— Nares's Glossary (sperage). 

* "etmontani 

Asparagi, posito quos legit villica fuso." — ^Juvenal, Satires^ xi. 69. 
"And asparagus from the mountains, which my bailiff's wife gathered when she 
had laid aside her spindle." This again refers to the corruda, which is still very 
common on the Italian hills, as appears from Sir William Hooker's note on 
Badham's version of Juvens^* 

Asparagus. 59 

And in Bishop Taylor against Transubstantiation : " An argument 
that, like Jonas's gourd or sparagus^ is in season only at some 
times." Again in Evelyn's " Acetaria" (1699) we find : " Sparagus^ 
asparagus {ab asperitaie\ temperately hot and moist, cordial, diuretic, 
easie of digestion, and next to flesh, nothing more nourishing." 
There are two curious blunders in this passage, as will be seen when 
the derivation of the word and the properties of the plant are 

The forms " sparagrass," " speragrass," and finally the terrible 
*^ sparrowgrass " have only latterly become vulgarisms. In the last 
centmy, and even till the last generation, they were only distorted 
forms which arose through misconception or false assimilation. The 
great lexicographer has given a certain classicality to the form 
"sparrowgrass," as he admitted it as a genuine English word, and 
gave an instance of its usage. In the first edition, however, of his 
Dictionary he only notices the form "asparagus," and gives two 
technical authors^ as his authorities. It is in a subsequent edition 
that we find the following quotation from " The Art of Cookery" : — 

Your infant pease to sparrowgrass prefer, 
Which to the supper you may best defer. 

The usage of the form " sparrowgrass " was fully established in polite 
society until quite lately, though " Cuthbert Bede*s" note on the 
subject in "Notes and Queries" does not particularly tend to sub- 
stantiate this assertion. He says : *^ I would venture to ask whether 
sparrowgrass is not the older and truer pronunciation ( ! !) In fact, 
like ' obleege ' and some other words, it obtains at the present day, 
for I have heard it so called by the sister of an earl^ a lady upwards 
of seventy years of age. ^^ Does the writer mean us to infer that this 
form must be orthographically correct because employed by the sister 
of an earl, and that it must be the pronunciation of the present day 
because the lady in question was seventy years of age? We are 
inclined to think that her high birth by no means insured correctness 
of pronunciation ; and the fact of her being a septuagenarian would 
have led us to expect the orthography of her youth, and not of her 
riper years. 

We have now arrived at the last and most crushing vulgarism, 
which at present assails our ears at every step — ^namely, "^nzjj." 
This expression shows an even greater perversion from the original 
than has occurred in the change of the artichaut girasole \n\,o fertisaiem 
artichoke. The odious abbreviation lowers man to the rank of an 

' Miller on Botan^\ Arbuthnot on Aliments, 

58 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

The form " sperage," however, was by far the more usual one in 
ordinary parlance,^' though the classical term was often employed by 
botanists. This is shown by the following quotations from some of 
the authors in whose works the word occurs. In Holland's Pliny 
(1601), we find : "As touching sperages, there is not a herb in the 
garden whereof there is so great care taken of them," whilst in the 
same work both terms appear in juxtaposition : " Now there is a 
middle sort of these sperages, not so civile and gentle as the asparagus 
of the garden, and yet more kind and mild than the corruda ^ of the 
field." In Sylvester's translation of " The Furies " of Du Bartas 
(1605) the following passage occurs \ — 

And unites so well 
Sargons and goats, the sperage and the rush.' 

In Fletcher's " Differences," which was published in 1623, we read 
as follows : — " Eating of Carduus benedictus, of rue, onyons, anise 
seed, garlike, stalkes of sperage^ fenell, fengreeke, &c. ; " and in Ray's 
" Catalogus Plantarum Anglise " (1667) we find, as explanation of the 
botanical asparagus : — " Sperage — found in sundry places, as in the 
marshes near Bristow, about Harwich in Essex. I found it growing 
on the cliffs at the Lezard point in Comwal." 

The natural abbreviation sparagus was also employed, and we 
find that this identical suppression of the initial " a " had also 
taken place in Latin, as the reading " sparagus " occurs, according 
to Nonius, in Varronius. It can scarcely be accounted a vulgarism, 
and indeed it was constantly used by ^vriters of the beginning of the 
last century. In Congreve's translation of Juvenal we read — 

Next that shaU mountain sparagus be laid, 
Pull'd by some plain but cleanly country -maid.* 

* The forms ** spurge*' and "spurey" are rightly queried in Latham; whilst 
the form " sparage," which is given by Dr. Johnson, but which Nares says he has 
never come across, is used in Cotgrave (1650). Dr. Johnson made a mistake, how- 
ever, in saying "from the French asparage" which is a form which the word has 
never assumed in that language. Few words have the termination "age" in 
French which have not been formed through the Low-Latin suffix of "aiicum" 

* " Corruda '* is the classical and botanical name for the wild asparagus. 

' ** The habitat of the wild asparagus is marshy ground near the sea, productive 
also of rushes. "—Nares's Glossary (sperage). 

* "etmontani 

Asparagi, posito quos legit villica fiiso." — ^Juvenal, Satires^ xi. 69. 
** And asparagus from the mountains, which my baililTs wife gathered when she 
had laid aside her spindle." This again refers to the corruda, which is still very 
common on the Italian hills, as appears from Sir William Hooker's note 00 
Badham's version of Juvem^, 

Asparagus. 59 

And in Bishop Taylor against Transubstantiation : " An argument 
thaty like Jonas's gourd or sparagusy is in season only at some 
times." Again in Evelyn's " Acetaria" (1699) we find : " Sparagus^ 
asparagus {ab asperitaie), temperately hot and moist, cordial, diuretic, 
easie of digestion, and next to flesh, nothing more nourishing." 
There are two curious blunders in this passage, as will be seen when 
the derivation of the word and the properties of the plant are 

The forms " sparagrass," " speragrass," and finally the terrible 
" sparrowgrass " have only latterly become vulgarisms. In the last 
century, and even till the last generation, they were only distorted 
forms which arose through misconception or false assimilation. The 
great lexicographer has given a certain classicality to the form 
" sparrowgrass," as he admitted it as a genuine English word, and 
gave an instance of its usage. In the first edition, however, of his 
Dictionary he only notices the form "asparagus," and gives two 
technical authors' as his authorities. It is in a subsequent edition 
that we find the following quotation from " The Art of Cookery " : — 

Your infant pease to sparrowgrass prefer, 
Which to the supper you may best defer. 

The usage of the form " sparrowgrass " was fully established in polite 
society until quite lately, though "Cuthbert Bede's" note on the 
subject in "Notes and Queries" does not particularly tend to sub- 
stantiate this assertion. He says : *' I would venture to ask whether 
sparrowgrass is not the older and truer pronunciation ( ! !) In fact, 
like ' obleege ' and some other words, it obtains at the present day, 
for I have heard it so called by the sister of an earl^ a lady upwards 
of seventy years of age. ^^ Does the writer mean us to infer that this 
form must be orthographically correct because employed by the sister 
of an earl, and that it must be the pronunciation of the present day 
because the lady in question was seventy years of age ? We are 
inclined to think that her high birth by no means insured correctness 
of pronunciation; and the fact of her being a septuagenarian would 
have led us to expect the orthography of her youth, and not of her 
riper years. 

We have now arrived at the last and most crushing vulgarism, 
which at present assails our ears at every step — namely, "grass,'' 
This expression shows an even greater perversion from the original 
than has occurred in the change of the artichaut girasole vaXo Jerusalem 
artich^. The odious abbreviation lowers man to the rank of an 

) Miller OQ Botan^\ Arbutbaot oo Aliments, 

6o Tlie Gentlematts Magazine. 

herbivorous animal, besides giving rise to erroneous notions regarding 
the botanical nature and order of the plant. Grass is the ignoble 
appellation bestowed on the esculent which, attaining lordly pro- 
portions, graced the banquets of Apicius and Lucullus, and whose 
praises have been the theme of the epicures of every age ! Truly 
it may be said, " Latet anguis in herbaJ* This, however, might be 
borne; but the possibility of the perpetuation of the expression, owing 
to its frequent employment in print, is what is most to be dreaded. 
Its use in works on horticulture is becoming universal, and the 
periodicals and magazines devoted to gardening and botany, which 
ought to act as the guardians and champions of this most seductive 
lily, are, as a glance at their pages will prove, the principal oflfenders. 
The effect is still more comical when the term is applied to a single 
blade. Thus in the " Gardener's Magazine " Mr. J. C. Clarke, a great 
authority on the cultivation of asparagus, writes : " This year it was 
about the 22nd of April before I had a single grass fit for table." 
Surely no one should be esteemed a bigoted purist who wishes to 
check the growth of expressions such as this ! The term Battersea 
grass, which was once so usual, has naturally died out since the 
ground in that suburb has been devoted to a more lucrative growth 
than even asparagus, and the head-quarters of London grass have 
now been transferred to Fulham and Mortlake. 

Having thus discussed the vulgarisms connected with this most 
refined vegetable, we have now to make a few observations touching 
the derivation of the original appellation. That the word asparagu? 
is of Greek descent there is not any doubt, but its root is subject to 
much question, and has aroused frequent discussion amongst the 
learned. The usually accepted derivation, especially in botanical 
treatises, is that from a intensitive, and airapatrtrw to tear, alluding to 
the thorns or prickles with which many species are provided — as, for 
instance. Asparagus silvestris and Asparagus acutifolius. There is 
nothing forced or improbable in this etymology; but if the root 
be tnrapdtrtrWf we are inclined to think that the a is privative, and 
that the meaning of the term is that which is no/ rent or torn to 
pieces — that is to say, the shoot before the leaves expand. This 
view is supported by Estienne's definition in his " Thesaurus: " " Ita 
dicitur, quod primum in lucem prodit oleris germen, priusquam in 
folia explicitur."* In Potts*s " Etymological Investigations " a root is 
suggested akin to tnrdpyrj, cr^apayoc, cr^/oiyao;, all of which denote a 
fulness to bursting. In this case the a is merely euphonic. (Though 

* In the Etymologium Lingua Graca (1790) Lennep says it denotes the first 
l^ud or sprout, ft-om a privative, and sparrasdn to tear, 

Asparagus. 6l 

the Attic form of the word was acr^apayoc, this purely dialectic 
change cannot point to any connection with the Homeric word 
dff^ofMiyoC) denoting ** the neck.") 

Both the Greeks and the earlier Romans applied the term " aspara- 
gus " to the shoots of many plants, and not merely to one botanical 
species. They probably ate it, as the Moors and Arabs eat the shoots 
of the Asparagus cUbus at the present day — namely, in their wild state. 
The only occurrences of the word in Greek are in quotations in the 
" Deipnosophists " of Athenaeus from the now lost works of obscure 
writers. But when we come to view the vegetable as treated by the 
Romans, it assumes quite a different importance both at the table 
and in the pharmacopoeia, and the minute instructions of Cato the 
Elder for its proper culture show that it was thus early a favourite 
with the Romans. The system of cultivation advocated by Columella 
in his " Husbandry " more than two hundred years later, does not 
differ materially from that recommended by Cato, but the instructions 
of the Spanish horticulturist are not so clear and precise as those 
of the earlier Roman writer. As gastronomy gained ascendency 
during the period of the emperors, so did asparagus cultivation 
increase in importance, and the shoots in bulk. The Romans 
must, moreover, have thus early been aware of one of the most 
important secrets in preparing the sprouts for table — namely, sharp, 
quick boiling— and the proverb so frequently used, as Suetonius tells 
U8, by Augustus — " Velocius quam asparagi coquantur " (Quicker 
than asparagus should be cooked) — ^has been perpetuated to later 
days, as if to remind cooks that briskness and boiling water are 
necessary to prevent this delicate vegetable from becoming sodden. 
Thus we find in Rabelais, who knew so well both the customs of the 
Romans and what was good for himself, " Remade n*y a que des- 
camper d'icy, je diz, plustoust que ne sont cuyts asperges " (" Pant." v. 
7). Juvenal only refers to the wild asparagus, but Martial in his 
"Epigrams" (xiii. 21) alludes to the celebrated produce of Ra- 
venna : — 

Mollis in xquorea quae crevit spina Ravenni 
Non erit incultis gratior asparagis. 

The asparagus of Ravenna was as celebrated in classical times as 
that of San Sebastian was a century ago, or as the produce of Fulham 
or Argenteuil is at the present day. Pliny tells us, " Asparagus, by 
nature, was intended to grow wild, so that each might gather it where 
he pleased. But lo and behold I we find it in the highest state of 
cultivation; and Ravenna produces heads that weigh as much as three 

62 The GentUmatis Magazine. 

pounds even. Alas for the monstrous excess of gluttony ! " There 
was probably some exaggeration in this statement, as the gigantic 
asparagus produced by the French market growers has never attained 
such a bulk, and the greatest exploit recorded in England is that of 
Mr. Grayson of Mortlake, who a few years ago produced a hundred 
head of asparagus which weighed 42 lbs. The shoots were 18 in. 
in length, but only about 3 in. were eatable ; the rest was what Mr. 
Cuthill contemptuously characterises as drumsticks. That great care 
and trouble were bestowed by the Romans on its successful culture 
is shown by the opening words of the great naturalist on the subject: 
" Of all the garden plants asparagus is the one that requires the most 
delicate care in its cultivation." The Apicii, Luculli, and other con- 
noisseurs of renown had this vegetable brought in perfection from 
the neighbourhood of Nesis, in Campania. 

Pliny mentions a superstition regarding the growth of asparagus 
which has been perpetuated almost to our own day, and which may, 
perhaps, still linger in the minds of some gardeners of the old school. 
He writes : " I find it stated that if rams* horns are pounded and then 
buried in the ground, asparagus will come up." Dioscorides, who of 
course only treated of the asparagus as entering largely into the ancient 
pharmacopoeia, mentions this absurdity, but refuses to credit it; but 
that it held its ground is shown by the following extracts. Rabe- 
lais writes ("Pant." iv. 7): " Take me but these horns, and bray them a 
little with an iron pestle, or with an andiron, which you please : it is 
all one to me. Then bury them wherever you will, provided it may be 
where the sun may shine, and water them frequently. In a few months 
I'll engage you will have the best asparagus in the world, not even 
excepting those of Ravenna." And we read in a French work 
on horticulture : " Est remarquable la naturelle amiti^ de ceste 
plante avec les comes de la moutonaille, pour s*accroistre 
gaiement pr^s d'elles, qui a fait croire k aucuns, les asperges 
proceder inimediatement de comes." In John Evelin's (Evelyn) 
"French Gardiner" (1691) we further find: "Some curious 
persons put Rams horn at the bottom of the Trench^ and hold 
for certain, that they have a kind of sympathy with Asparagus^ 
which makes them prosper the better; but I refer them to the 

The other passages in the Latin writers deal with the medicinal 
properties of the plant. Pliny recommends it for all kinds of ail- 
ments, and Galen, when expatiating on the subject, shows that he 
was fully aware that the principal therapeutic merits were contained 
in the root, owing to the presence of [a substance which modem 

Asparagus. 63 

chemists have termed asperigine.^ "The most extraordinary virtue 
attributed to this plant is givenby Antoine Mizold (" Cent" 7, " Memor. 
Aph." 34) and Schenck (" Obs. Med." 1. 1): * If the root is put upon a 
tooth that aches violently, it causes it to come out without pain.' " * Our 
modem dentists have more confidence in chloroform or ether-spray ! 
The most marked action of asperigine is on the kidneys, and the 
root is still extensively employed at Paris and elsewhere as a diuretic, 
particularly by persons of sedentary habits. It is an antiscorbutic; 
it is good for dropsy, but bad for gout ; it is also used as a lithic. 
Dr. Broussais recommends it as a sedative for palpitations of the 
heart The seed of the asparagus in not used in modem pharmacy, 
and there is a popular belief prevalent that the berries are poisonous. 
So far from this being the case, the seeds were, and perhaps are, used 
in Geraiany as a substitute for coflfee ; with what success we cannot 
say, but should imagine that the same amount of pleasurable sensation 
was produced as is felt in swallowing a decoction of acom-powder, 
or any other substitute for the berry of Mocha. The Roman ladies, 
who retained the Spartan asceticism of early times long after their 
lords had sunk down the descending scale of gastronome, epicure, 
gourmet, gourmand, glutton, used to drink asparagus wine, parsley- 
seed wine, marjoram wine, and other mild vegetable decoctions. Our 
ladies no longer water their Chian and Faleraian, and recognise the 
superior merits of Pommery and Heidsieck. 

Through the dark and middle ages we lose sight of the " gentle 
hearbe." Though its cultivation was probably continued in Italy, and 
it was introduced early into France, as is shown by the extracts we 
have given from the wonderful satire of the cure' of Meudon, yet its re- 
newed growth under cultivation had, like that of much other valuable 
scientific knowledge, to await the advent of the Renaissance. 

The first mention of cultivated asparagus in England is met with 
in a work that is invaluable for all information regarding the kitchen 
gardens of our ancestors at the close of the sixteenth century — namely, 
Gerard's " Herball," which was published in 1597. From his account 
we leara that the wild asparagus was then more used than the 
cultivated, and we also gain a description of the culinary pro- 
cesses to which "grass" was subjected in the days of good 
Queen Bess : " The ancients have set forth two sortes of sperage — 
the garden and the wild Sperage. The later writers have found 
more of the wild kind" The asparagus of the table, which 

' Hoffman and Dr. James have treated the medicinal properties of the plant 

* Macintosh, Book of the Garditt* 

64 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

since the time of Linnaeus is known botanically as Asparagus 
officinalis J he describes under the head of "Asparagus Sativus." We 
read : " The first sprouts or naked tender shoots heereof be oftentimes 
sodden in flesh broth and eaten ; or boiled in faire water, and seasoned 
with oilc, vineger, salt, and pepper ; then are served at tnen^s tables for 
a sallade. They are pleasant to the taste, easily concocted." * Aspara- 
gus did not, however, become generally known till about a century 
later, or the mention of it would not have been set down as an 
anachronism by the author of " The Art of Cookery," who writes : 
" Neither can a Pott put Hops in an Englishman's Drink before Heresy 
came in : nor can he serve him with a Dish of CVrr^j before that time ; 
He might as well give King James the First a Dish of Asparagus upon 
his first coming to London, which were not brought into England 
till many Years after." But Anderson is wrong in saying that aspara- 
gus was not known in England till the middle of the eighteenth 
century, though his remarks are interesting as illustrating the state of 
destitution of the kitchen-gardens of our ancestors, who certainly 
cannot be regarded as vegetarians. In the " State of England," 
published in 1768, we read that the English cultivated hardly any 
vegetables before the last two centuries. At the commencement of 
the reign of Henry VIH., neither salad, nor carrots, nor cabbages, 
nor radishes, nor any other comestibles of a like nature, were grown 
in any part of the kingdom ; they came from Holkind and Flanders. 
In 1723 Queen Catherine herself could not procure a salad for her 
dinner. The King was obliged to send over to Holland for a 
gardener to cultivate those pot-herbs with which England is, perhaps, 
better furnished now than any other country in Europe. Cauliflowers 
were not known in England till the time of the Restoration ; and, 
speaking of the year 1768, Anderson says that asparagus and arti- 
chokes were only introduced a few years antecedent to that date.* 
Numerous allusions and descriptions prove, however, that such was 
not the case. In all the Herbals from Gerard's time asparagus is 
spoken of as an established denizen of the kitchen garden. There is a 
full description of it in LovelFs na/i/SorayoXoyia, or " Compleat Her- 
ball," published in 1665 ; and in Leonard Meager's " Compleat English 
Gardner" (1670) we learn that sparragus culture was conducted then 
much as in the present day. Allusion has before been made to 
Evelyn's " Acetaria," published in 1699, as well as to his " French 
Gardiner," in both of which the spelling asparagus is usual. The 
former is a highly interesting work, and his derivation of asparagus 

> Gerard's Herball^ c. 87, p. 33U • Soycr*s Panirophta, 

Asparagus. 65 

[ab asperiiai^) was not the inadvertent mistake that Nares considered 
it in his " Glossary," for it arose from the blunder of Varro, who says : 
" Ex aspen's virgultisy unless from the Greek." From his work we 
gather that asparagus was forced for the table at the close of the 
seventeenth century, and Meager states that London was well sup- 
plied with forced asparagus as early as 1670. By the beginning of 
the present century forced as well as natural asparagus had become 
the rule and not the exception at the tables of the rich, and the 
Thames valley furnished plentiful supplies to the metropolis. 
Gravesend and Battersea were the most famous localities for its pro- 
duction, and we read in the " Epicure's Almanack "for 1815 that 
" from Gravesend the asparagus arrives by tilt-boat, every tide 
during the season, at Billingsgate, where in Dark House Lane there 
is a kind of market for it" The writer is profuse in his praises of 
Covent Garden ; and really, after all, it is only the building and accom- 
modation which are so unworthy of the largest capital in the world. 
The vegetable and floral produce exhibited is, taken collectively, such 
as no other nation, not even la belie France, can boast of. But it has 
lost the social status and topical interest which it once enjoyed. In 
1815 it is described thus — 

Centric in London noise and London follies, 
Proud Covent Garden blooms in smoky glory, 

For coachmen, coffee-rooms, piazzas, dollies, 
Cabbages and comedians famed in story. 

In former days the spectator resorted hither to witness the 
humours of a market morning ; the facetious Tom Brown portrayed 
and dramatised the colloquial sallies of the market folks ; this scene 
was depicted by Hogarth in his " Rake*s Progress ; " it was this spot 
which Farquhar and Vanbrugh frequently chose in their comedies as 
the rendezvous of intriguants ; it was the academus of epicures, dra- 
matists, and comic philosophers: it is now the haunt of Hebrews 
and costermongers, of liveried servants and spinsters of limited 

The Asparagus officinalis is a descendant of the wild asparagus, 
which is indigenous to Great Britain. It is not, however, a common 
plant in its uncultivated state ; but we gather from various authori- 
ties that it has been found, always near the seaside, in the Isle of 
Portland, near Bristol, and sparingly near Edinburgh (Ix^udon) ; at 
Callar Point and Gosford Links (Clarke) ; whilst in Kynance Cove, 
in Cornwall, there is an island, called Asparagus Island, where it 
grows plentifully (Kettner, "Book of the Table"). It has been 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1759. ** 

66 The Gentlemafis Magazine, 

erroneously stated that the original habitat of the plant was Asia, 
though it is a fact that excellent asparagus grows wild on the banks 
of the Euphrates, where the shoots are nurtured by what they par- 
ticularly affect — subirrigation. It is found in most European coun- 
tries — as, for instance, on the sandy islands of the Rhone and Seine — 
whilst in the salt steppes of Russia and Poland it grows so freely that 
it really does become ^rass, and is eagerly devoured by the horses 
and oxen. The asparagus belongs to the botanical order of the 
Liliacecc, or lily^vorts, and the seductive charm in eating it should 
be enhanced by the knowledge that we are enjoying a very near rela- 
tion of the lily of the valley; whilst it has a close connection with 
the asphodel, that classical flower of the departed. Few plants im- 
prove so much by judicious cultivation as asparagus does, and most 
of our market gardeners now produce it in a high state of perfection, 
especially, as Mr. Cuthill says in his excellent " Vegetable Manual," 
since the absurdity of having only three inches of vegetable matter 
at the top, and growing three-quarters of the shoot to encumber the 
London dustbins, has been so much exposed. It has been proved by 
chemical analysis that asparagus contains less nutriment than almost 
any other vegetable, for even the best of plants must have their fail- 
ings ; surely, therefore, it should be the aim of gardeners to render 
the eatable part of the shoots as long as possible, since quantity is, 
in this case, as necessary as quality. 

France, however, must be looked upon as the home of the 
asparagus par excellence. Her market gardeners know how to grow 
it ; her cooks know how to prepare it ; and her artisans, as well as 
her epicures, know how to eat and enjoy it. It is a hard case that 
the flavour of this native of Great Britain is unknown to many of 
our middle and to the bulk of our lower classes ; but it must always 
remain a select vegetable, owing to the amount of ground required 
for its cultivation, and the expense and trouble necessary to produce 
it to advantage. But in France it is within the reach of all classes, 
and is a dainty which is included, for months together, in a tv\^o-franc 
dinner. In " Knife and Fork," a magazine which appeared for two 
years under the editorship of " Fin Bee," there is a good article on 
French market-gardening, which was mainly reproduced from the 
" Times." The wiiter very correctly states that the student of the 
Quartier Latin enjoys his asparagus longer than many an English 
country gentleman with his bevy of gardeners. A very nice plate of it 
may be had at any of the great Paris establishments for z\d. ; whilst 
its aldermanic proportions, polished ivory shaft, and rosy bud at 
Durand's, or any of the first-class restaurants, are truly admirable. 

Asparagus. 67 

Space will not allow us to enter fully into the mode of culture or 
asparagus in England, France, and other foreign countries, l)ut a few 
particulars of its growth among our neighbours may prove interest- 
ing. The system of cultivation is diametrically the opposite of ours, 
as the French grow it in sunk trenches instead of in raised beds. 
The roots intended to produce the giant heads are planted very wide 
apart, and the plants are. assiduously watered in the summer after the 
crop has ceased. This is the time of year when asparagus requires 
much nourishment, and this essential point is too frequently neglected 
in England, especially by private gardeners. The plants are care- 
fully staked, to prevent the stems and branches being broken by the 
wind, and all decayed or delicate plants are carefully replaced by 
those of a strong and vigorous growth. The earth is every year 
cautiously removed to the roots, and rotten manure is spread over 
them before they are covered up again ; but as a rule the French do 
not muck so heavily as the English growers. The largest and 
earliest seeds arc chosen to propagate from, and the roots are always 
transplanted as yearlings, and carefully preserved from the air during 
removal. The long, blanched stems, on which the French growers 
pride themselves so much, are produced by a system of earthing, and 
the sprout is only allowed to push one inch above the accumulated 
soil before cutting. In the growth of the giant asparagus which we 
generally see in England at Christmas time, and which is sold at 
the rate of about \s, a head, much attention is devoted to each indi- 
vidual sprout. An opaque tube is placed over the bud, and the 
shoot is then allowed to rise higher above the surface than is the 
case with the ordinary crop, as by the exclusion of air, and 
especially light, the much-prized blanching is secured, whereas, 
if clear glass tubes were used, the shoot would be hastened for- 
ward, but would assume that greenness which the French think 
so undesirable. Laysterie says that in Spain a joint of cane 
is placed over each shoot; whilst, in a communication to the 
Royal Horticultural Society, Baumann, of Vienna, states that the 
gardeners of that locality employ a wooden tube 18 inches long and 
I inch in diameter. A great deal of asparagus is grown in Holland, 
and we may be sure that those most practical and successful gardeners 
do not fail in producing satisfactory results. Their system of 
blanching is to heap up loose sand over the rising head. The system 
of cultivation in America is much the same as ours, but no member of 
the order is indigenous to the New World. The vegetable is now 
grown in the States on a large scale, and much attention was recently 
attracted by the introduction thence into this country of a kind 

F 2 

68 The Gentleman^s Magazine. 

called Connover*s Colossal, which was found, however, not to be a 
different species, but only a variety frequently observable in all 
plants raised from seed, whilst the peculiarities of the seedling had 
been intensified by distinctive circumstances of growth. To return 
to France, thousands of champagne bottles are used at Argenteuil 
for the purpose of blanching, after the bottoms have been knocked 
out, and there is a regular trade with the manufactories in damaged 
bottles purchased with this intent. Frequent recourse is also had to 
cloches^ or bell-glasses, which may, in the early spring, be seen dotted 
all over the ground in the Department of the Seine-et-Oise, aijd 
especially in the Valley of Montmorency. The use of bell-glasses is 
now becoming frequent among English growers, and they m^ be 
purchased at the large glass-works at one shilling apiece, if taken in 
quantities of not fewer than 200. Asparagus-forcing is one of the chrfs- 
d'oeuvreoi French gardening, and beautiful bundles may be seen in the 
shops as early as November. Stems have been exhibited four inches 
in circumference, and the epicures of Paris feel themselves in duty 
bound to relish heads which have been crowned with the gold 
medal of the (Imperial) Horticultural Society of France. We 
have often wondered who eats the mammoth ** grass" and the 
;^3o-a-dozen pears displayed in Mr. Solomon^s window, but the 
mystery is explained by the following anecdote taken from Brillat- 
Savarin's " Physiologic du Goiit," which would apply equally well to 
London as to Paris : — 

Passing through the Palais Royal one fine day in the month of February, 
r stopped before Madame Chevet's window, the most famous place of its kind in 
Paris. I noticed some remarkably fine asparagus, the smallest stick of which was 
larger than my forefinger. I asked the price. "Forty francs, monsieur," was 
Madame Chevet's reply. **It is really very fine asparagus, but at such a price 
only kings and princes can eat it." ** You are mistaken. Such asparagus as this 
never reaches palaces. It is too good for that. I shall sell it all the same, though ; 
and this is how it will be done : — There are in Paris at this present moment 300 
men of enormous wealth — financiers, capitalists, retired tradesmen, and others — 
who are confined to their homes by gout, by the fear of catarrh, by doctors' orders, 
or by other causes which do not prevent them from eating and enjoying good 
things. They sit before the fire and turn over in their minds what will best satisfy 
their dainty appetites. When they have ransacked their brains unsuccessfully, they 
send their valet-de-chambre on a voyage of discovery. He will come here, will 
see my asparagus, and will carry it off at any price. Or else a pretty woman will 
pass with her lover, and she will say, * Oh, what fine asparagus ! Let us buy 
some. Our cook makes the sauce for it to perfection, you know.* In such a case 
the lover cannot refuse, and cannot demur at the price. Or else it is a bet won, 
a christening, a sudden increase of fortune ;— how do I know ? In a word, the 
dear things go quicker than the cheap in Paris, because, in the course of life here, 
such extraordinary circumstances arise that there is always an opportunity of sell- 

Asparagus. 69 

ing them." As she spoke, two stout Englishmen passed arm-in-arm. They stopped 
before the window, and their faces expressed great admiration. One of them 
immediately had the marvellously fine asparagus done up in paper, without 
even asking the price, paid for it, and carried it off under his arm, whistling 
•* God save the King." *• There, monsieur ! " said Madame Chevet to me with a 
laugh; "there is an opportunity of which I had not spoken, which is quite as 
frequent as the others." 

In our opinion, however, asparagus bought with such wanton 
waste of money would, like strawberries at one shilling the ounce, 
taste more of money than of the natural flavour of the vegetable. 

The land under asparagus cultivation in France is more extensive 
than in England, especially since of late years so much has been sent 
to the London market Thousands of persons are employed in its 
culture in the neighbourhood of Paris alone. Much of the natural 
asparagus, however, which supplies the English market before 
our own crop comes in is raised in aspergeries near Toulouse, and 
other districts in the South of France, where it is much grown amongst 
the vines, as it also is in the Seine-et-Oise. The consignments to 
England have increased enormously within the last few years, without, 
however, effecting any material difference in the price of the vegetable 
in this coimtry. The mania for large heads of asparagus is no new- 
fangled hobby in France, as is shown by the following cniel practical 
joke related by Brillat-Savarin, which we give in the original French, 
as it loses as much of its piquancy in translation as the asparagus 
itself does when badly dressed : — 

On vint dire un jour a monseigneur Courtois de Quincey, evtque de Belley, 
qu'une asperge d'une grosseur merveillcuse pointait dans un des carres de son 
jardin potager. A Tinstant toute la societe se transporta sur les lieux pour 
verifier le fait ; car, dans les palais episcopaux aussi on est charme d'avoir quelque 
chose a faire. 

La nouvelle ne se trouva ni fausse ni exageree. La plante avait perce la 
terre, et paraissait deja au-dessus du sol ; la tete en etait arrondie, vernissce, 
diapr^, et promettait unc colonne plus que pleine-main. 

On se recria sur ce phenomene d'horticulture ; on convint qu'k monseigneur 
seul appartenait le droit de la separer de sa racine, et le coutelier voisin fut charge 
de faire immediatement un couteau approprie ^ cette haute fonction. 

Pendant les jours suivants I'asperge ne fit que croitre en grace et en beaute ; 
sa marche etait lente mais continue, et bientot on commen9a ^ apercevoir la 
partie blanche oil finit la propriete esculente de ce legume. Le temps de la 
moisson ainsi indique, on s'y prepara pour un bon diner, et on ajourna I'operation 
au retour de la promenade. 

Alors monseigneur s'avanca arme du couteau officiel, se baissa avec gravite 
ct s'occupa it separer de sa tige le vegetal orgueilleux, tandis que toute la cour 
episcopale marquait quelque impatience d'en examiner les fibres et la contexture. 

Mais, 6 surprise ! 6 desappointement ! 6 douleur I le prelat se releva les 
mains vides, , . . L'asperge etaii de bois \ 

70 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

Cette plaisanterie, peut-etre un peu forte, etait du chanoine Rosset, qui, n^ 
k Saint-Claude, toumait ^ merveille et peignait fort agr^ablement. II avail con- 
ditionne de tout point la fausse plante, I'avait enfouce en cachette, et la soulevait 
un peu chaque jour pour imiter la croissance naturelle. 

Monseigneur ne savait pas trop de quelle mani^re il devait prendre cette 
mystification (car e'en etait bien une) ; mais voyant d^jk Philarite se peindre sur la 
figure des assistants, il sourit ; et ce sourire fiit suivi de I'explosion generale d'un 
rire veritablement homerique : on emporta done le corps du delit, sans s'occuper 
du delinquant ; et pour cette soiree du moins la statue-asperge fut admise aux hon- 
neurs du salon. 

The system of asparagus cultivation in Germany closely resembles 
that pursued in France ; but no very extensive area is under cultiva- 
tion. It is raised, however, in considerable quantities around 
Vienna — and the Viennese fully appreciate the comforts and luxuries 
of life — as also at Ulm on the Danube, and at Augsburg, where 
the soil is calcareous sand three or four feet deep, and the subsoil 
always saturated with water. In the " Gardener's Weekly Magazine," 
under date November 21, 1861, there is an interesting communication 
from Herr Heinrich Behrens on the German mode of growing aspa- 
ragus, to which, however, only a very short reference can be made. 
He says that asparagus which has attained a green colour from being 
exposed to the air is quite out of favour at Lubeck; but that, without 
artificial means, the shoots, if well managed, are white and eatable 
almost the whole length. A great quantity of asparagus is raised in 
the neighbourhood of the old Hanse town, being favoured by the 
light, sandy soil, and is sold there at the rate of from fourpence to 
sevenpence per pound. A supply is thence despatched to Sweden 
and other countries on the Baltic. His remarks about cutting the 
shoots are quite correct, and sufficient attention is sometimes not 
paid to this point in England. It should be cut either at sunrise or 
late in the day, and the flavour is finer the sooner it is eaten after being 
severed from the crown. It is very unwise to plunge asparagus, as is 
so often done, into a tub of water, as the shoots become flabby, and 
much of the flavour is lost. To preserve it till required for use, 
Soyer recommends that it should be placed by the thick ends in a 
vessel containing about two inches of >vater, or, better still, buried 
half-way up in firesh sand. 

Having seen how subirrigation and moisture at the roots is con- 
ducive to the improved growth of asparagus, the secret of the success 
of our English growers by the banks of the Thames, where hundreds 
of acres are devoted to its cultivation, is easily arrived at A sort of 
perpetual subterranean irrigation is effected by the ebbing and flowing 
of the tide, and also by the rapid rising and falling of the river in 

Asparagus, 71 

times of heavy rain.^ Its growth is, moreover, fostered by the deep^ 
moist, and rich soil, as well as by the careful and scientific system of 
cultivation. Fulham and Mortlake, Charlton, Deptford, and Rother- 
hithe, all send large supplies of excellent asparagus to market ; and 
Mr. George Bagley, of the first-mentioned place, may be considered 
as one of the most successful producers. Large quantities are grown 
in Cambridgeshire, where one grower has beds under culture to the 
aggregate length of ten miles ; but the produce does not command 
such a high price as that grown round London. Evesham, on the 
Avon, in Worcestershire, is also noted for its asparagus, as well as 
for most other vegetables, as is also the county of Surrey. Much is 
grown in Cornwall; it is a wonder that the quantity is not even greater, 
such beautiful soil being ready to hand, and the county enjoying 
so genial a climate; particularly as asparagus can be very easily 
packed for transport, as compared with rhubarb or broccoli. If grown 
in the caves and mines, it might be produced very early, and well 
bleached for those who like it white.^ 

Some of the following hints, gathered from a variety of treatises, 
may prove interesting or useful : — Good, choice seed should be selected 
in sowing either for the purpose of obtaining roots or for stocking a 
bed where it is sown. Seed-stocking has the advantage that by this 
process there is no check through removal, and no chance of muti- 
lating the roots. In stocking a bed with roots, crowns should be 
chosen of one year's growth, or two years' at the outside, and care 
should be taken that they are not exposed too long to the air in trans- 
planting. They should not be placed too close to one another, as is 
frequently the case. The roots should be planted when they have 
sprouted about one inch, and not before they are in a state of activity, 
as in the latter case they frequently rot from lying in the earth. The 
roots should not be planted too deep, as the increased effort to gain 
the surface is an additional tax on the strength of the plant, and the 
tender heads become frayed. The long drumsticks of French and 
English white asparagus are not produced by planting the roots deep, 
but by earthing to the height of several inches when the sprouts are 
shooting. The system of manuring should be judicious and generous. 
The application of alternate dressings of salt and manure is, perhaps, 
the best method to pursue. It is not necessary to apply a heavy coat 
of manure before the winter, nor even to cover up the beds or fill in 
the aUeys with leaves, as the asparagus is a hardy plant ; but a good 
dressing should be given to the beds in the spring before the crop 
commences. Salt should be applied at the rate of 2 lbs. per square 

* Gardener's Weekly Magazine, ' Knife and I^ark. 

72 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

yard. Seaweed is an excellent manure for asparagus, and should be 
applied whenever obtainable. The alleys should not be oveq)lanted 
with other vegetables, and only with those kinds whose roots do not 
extend deep beneath the surface. The plants should be carefully 
watered during the summer months, especially if the season be dry, 
and the beds may with advantage be covered with the short grass 
swept up from the lawn. It should be remembered that few plants are 
so easily damaged by wind, and that the stools suffer when the stalks 
are broken. This is well illustrated by Mr. J. Addison's entertaining 
account of his attempts to grow asparagus when appointed gardener 
to the late Earl of Wemyss, and his description is almost a summary 
of asparagus culture : — 

For a period of eleven years, while I was in the ranks, I never saw much 
difficulty in growing it well, but at some places I have seen it almost a failure. 
In 1838 I went as gardener to the late Earl of \Vemyss, Gosford House, Had- 
dington, and there was only a head of asparagus here and there ; it had died out, 
and he hoped I should be able to grow it. I was full of hope then, and, as the 
nature of the soil was good and there was no stint of manure and labour, I was 
sanguine of success. I planted healthy two-]^ear-old roots, and the sprouts came 
up well ; but the second year nearly all the roots proved to be rotten. I felt all 
the conceit taken out of me, but there was no grumbling, and, as I am of a comba- 
tive turn of mind, I resolved to try again. My second attempt was attended with 
the same result. The roots and heads were found to be coal-black. It struck me 
that the wind might have something to do with my want of success, as Gosford 
was a very windy place. The next time I tried I fastened all the stalks up as 
soon as they required support, and at last I had the satisfaction of sending in a 
fine dish for table; but it had taken me six years to produce it. The gardeners of 
the Earl of Haddington and the Marquis of Tweeddale beat me in 1852, when the 
prize was gained by twelve heads of eight inches in length, weighing 15^ oz. ; 
second, 14! oz. Though I was beaten for a time, lam happy to say I won the prize 
in 1855 with twelve heads, weighing 18 oz., and at a subsequent show I reached 
21 oz. 

No seeds should be allowed to swell, certainly not to ripen, on 
young plants ; this is as essential as cutting the flowering shoots off sea- 
kale and rhubarb.* The duration of the bearing power of the beds varies 
according to the soil in which the root is planted, but from twelve to 
fifteen years may be taken as the average ; and there is no such sure 
sign of exhaustion in asparagus plants as their too free production of 
seeds. It is not absolutely necessary that the roots should be planted 
in raised beds, the main object of which is to secure due drainage 
and increased depth of soil ; where the latter is already deep and 
porous, equally fine asparagus may be grown on level beds — a fact 
which is corroborated by many growers, and confirmed by the opinion 

» The GardtHfr, April 1873, 

Asparagus. 73 

entertained by Mr. Earley, who has published a little treatise entirely 
devoted to the cultivation of asparagus. He says that by this method 
more uniform moisture is secured, the superficial rains are utilised, 
the roots are not barbarously severed in cleaning out the trenches, and 
space is economised. No bed smaller than i rod, or 272 square 
feet, should be appropriated to the growth of asparagus, as that is the 
minimum extent of ground calculated to produce a fair-sized dish, all 
the heads of which are cut the same day. Finally, in cutting the shoots, 
an asparagus knife should always be used, as if cut with a serrated 
edge the wound is ragged, and does not bleed nearly so much, 
whereas a clean wound leaves the sap vessels open. Care should be 
taken to pass the knife closely down the stem of the sprout, so as not 
to injure any heads which have not yet made their appearance above 
ground, and great precaution is necessary to avoid pricking the crown. 
Much misapprehension prevails as to leaving heads uncut in the beds ; 
the best plan is to cut all, when the beds are in strong bearing, until 
the b^inning of June. The smaller sprouts need not appear at table 
as a vegetable to do discredit to the gardener; they should be reserved 
for soup or omelets. 

Like the potato and the vine, the asparagus has its sworn foes. 
The chief enemy of growers is the asparagus beetle ( Crocieris Asparagi\ 
which is, however, fortunately very intermittent and local. The larva 
state of the insect lasts only about ten days, during which it selects the 
young shoots as its food, and then buries itself in the ground. They 
may be captured by passing the hand down the stalk. The asparagus 
fungus frequently appears in the Cambridgeshire beds, overspreading 
and killing the plants ; it is only known to mycologists as a mycelium. 

In conclusion, we must say one word regarding the aim and 
object of all asparagus culture — the cooking and eating of the 
shoots. In England the culinary process does not admit of much 
diversification. The necessity of quick, brisk boiling has already been 
insisted on, and the esculent loses its delicate flavour by any elabo- 
ration. All that we require is good melted butter, and how extremely 
rarely we get it ! In hiring a cook, let him or her produce presentable 
bread-sauce and melted butter as credentials. The toast on which the 
heads are laid should be dipped in the water in which they have been 
boiled. For soup the damaged heads and the thin green sprouts 
are generally used, which latter are technically known by the name 
of " sprue." This is not a word to be found in any dictionary, but is 
a recognised term in the trade, and is often to be seen written up in 
greengrocers* shops, to the no small bewilderment of the unlearned. 
In France, however, its uses are more various. It enters extensively 

74 The Ge^itlematis Magazine. 

into ragotits, and the drumsticks become tender, if not toothsome, 
by prolonged cooking. It is used in salads, as in times of yore. The 
heads of the sprouts are cut off to the length of three-eighths of an 
inch, then boiled and fried in butter, like peas; it is a very frequent 
adjunct to the savoury omelet, as it also is in Spain and Italy. 
Soyer recommends points d'asperges as excellent with scrambled 
eggs (cEufs brouillts). That some Frenchmen often prefer to eat it 
with oil, instead of butter, is shown by the well-known anecdote of 
Fontenelle: — 

The poet was passionately fond of asparagus, but he liked them with oil. 
His friend Cardinal Dubois liked them not less fervently, but he preferred them 
with melted butter. Fontenelle had a large bundle of asparagus sent him ; he 
told the Cardinal of it, and invited him to dinner, promising faithfully that half 
should be served with oil and half with butter. The Cardinal accepted, but just 
about the hour for dinner a message came to the host to say that the expected 
guest had fallen into a fit, and was dead or dying. Fontenelle rushed towards 
the kitchen. ** All with oil ! all with oil ! " he cried, in fear lest the cook should 
not send up enough of his favourite condiment to eat with all. Having paid this 
honour to the asparagus, he returned to his dining-room to lament over his friend. 
So great is the influence which asparagus with oil has been known to exert over 
the human mind. 

We only wish that what Kettner says in his " Book of the Table " 
regarding the process of eating asparagus were strictly correct. After 
stating that vegetables are considered merely as adjuncts of the 
English dinner — that is, to be eaten with the joints — he says that arti- 
chokes and asparagus are alone thought worthy to be served sepa- 
rately. (He might, by the way, have included seakale.) Now follows 
the passage, the absolute correctness of which we wish we were not 
obliged to challenge : " It is a question whether this exception is due 
to a pure admiration of the vegetable or to the circumstafice that, 
having to be eaten with the fingers, it is necessary to put down either 
knife or fork to seize the vegetable. The probability is that, if the 
Creator had thought fit, in His wisdom, to endow the Englishman 
with three or four hands, he would never have been seen eating the 
artichoke or asparagus alone, but always in conjunction with some 
other food." Without commenting on the flippancy and even irre- 
verence of the latter part of this paragraph, we wish to draw attention 
to the passage printed in italics. Alas! it is not considered good 
manners to eat asparagus with the fingers in polite society — that is to 
say, at dinner parties, or on occasions when asparagus would be 
served in England as a course after the joints. Happily, this restraint 
in social ethics does not extend to home life, for in the family circle 
it is perfectly allowable to grasp the esculent by the hilt and to 

Asparagus. 75 

follow the bent of one's own inclinations. The knife-and-fork process 
is, we admit, eminently unsatisfactory, but the bienseances of life 
must be conformed to, and to suck asparagus in society is as great a 
breach of etiquette as for a lady to raise cheese to her mouth on a 
knife, or to arrive at the contents of an egg by the process of decapi- 
tation — a summary proceeding which always reminds us of the poppy 
saga of Roman history. Artichokes, it is true, must be eaten with 
the fingers even in society, or the result would be negative ; but we 
repeat that asparagus-sucking must be witnessed only by one's family 
and intimate friends. Even thus the asparagus enjoys an advantage 
over the mango, that luscious queen of fruits, and almost the only 
tropical one which is not a delusion and a snare . To be thoroughly 
enjoyedj^. a basket of grafted mangoes must be eaten in complete 
retirement ; the gourmand must be clad in the scantiest of drapery, 
and must hold his head over an ample basin of pure water, with no 
eye, not even that of his native valet, and still less that of his wife or 
bosom friend, to spy the mysteries of a mango revel. 


y6 Tfie Gentleman's Magazine. 


Part the First. — The Country Maiden. 

ON the north-east side of Temple Bar, opposite Child's Bank, in 
the year 1697, there was a narrow, dingy thoroughfare called 
Shire I^ne, in which was a pastry-cook's shop kept by one Christopher 
Kat, and known by the sign of the Cat and Fiddle. It was here, in a 
room above, that the celebrated Kit- Kat* Club held its meetings. There 
was not a more aristocratic and notable gathering in all London than 
that which assembled weekly within those squalid precincts; dukes — 
among them the great Marlborough — earls, lords, and wits, of which 
last Addison and Steele were the foremost, were the members ; but 
all were good Whigs, sworn haters of the Stuarts, and champions of 
the Protestant succession. One evening while the wine was circu- 
lating freely, and reigning beauties were being toasted, Evelyn 
Pierrepoint, Marquis of Dorchester and Earl of Kingston, rose and 
proposed his daughter, Lady Mary. " She is prettier than any beauty 
of them all," he cried. " You shall see her." And thereupon he sent 
away his carriage to bring her thither. By-and-by she arrived, a 
demure little lady of eight, dressed for the occasion; and all the 
gentlemen toasted her standing, and afterwards fed her with sweet- 
meats, and kissed and fondled her, and finally inscribed her name 
with a diamond upon a drinking glass. " Pleasure," she wrote 
thereafter, ** was too poor a word to express my sensations. They 
amounted to ecstasy. Never again throughout my life did I pass so 
happy an evening." 

The incident was the more likely to impress the little maiden, and 
to be long remembered, coming as it did in the midst of a dull, 
monotonous life, the greater part of which was passed in a remote 
country mansion far away from such gaieties. Her mother. Lady 
Mary Fielding, of the same family as the great novelist, died when 

' It is supposed to have taken its name from the sign of the house, kit signi- 
fying, as is well known, a small ftddle, Pope, however, considers this derivation 
d oubtful. 

A Representative Lady of the Last Century. 77 


she was only four years old, and she and her sister, Lady Frances, 
afterwards the unfortunate Countess of Marr, were brought up chiefly 
at Thoresby-in-Sherwood, their father's country seat. Education, both 
of male and female, bui especially of the latter, was at this period 
at the lowest ebb which had been known since the revival of learning. 
An educated woman was indeed a rara avis in those days ; how 
coarse and ignorant were even the best-bred ladies may be gathered 
from a perusal of the comedies of Congreve, Wycherly, and Vanbrugh. 
There were good, dull, solid housewives among them, who in intel- 
lectual calibre were scarcely on a level with the farmer's wife of the 
past generation, but the town fine ladies were only vulgar coquettes 
and card-players, who could not spell their own names correctly. 
The Marquis of Dorchester had seemingly no desire to make his 
daughters an exception to this rule, since he did not consider it 
necessary to provide any instruction for them. We suppose they, 
were in some way taught to read and write, but certainly no further 
mental cultivation was attempted. Fortunately, however, there was 
a well-stocked library at Thoresby, and Lady Mary loved books. 
The interminable fictions of Madame Scuddry, those romans de tongue 
haldne, "Cl^lie," "Ibrahim," the "Grand Cyrus," and the rest, 
"done into English," and Tom d'Urfey's '^Astrsea," her favourite 
book, were diligently perused, but only as relaxations to graver 
studies. Aione and unassisted she mastered the Latin and French 
languages and made some progress in Greek, and during her leisure 
hours was always surrounded by dictionaries and piles of learned 
volumes. She even translated the " Enchiridion " of Epictetus, 
although probably from a Latin version, and sent her translation to 
Bishop Burnett for revision. This performance is to be found among 
her collected works, with the bishop's corrections. But not wholly 
was she able to devote herself to such pursuits ; there were household 
duties to perform — for at that time even great ladies did not disdain 
homely cares — and Lady Louisa Stuart, her granddaughter, informs 
us, in her " Anecdotes " of her celebrated ancestress, that Lord Dor- 
chester, having no wife to do the honours of his table at Thoresby, 
imposed the task upon his eldest daughter, as soon as she had bodily 
strength for the office, which in those days required no small share; 
for the mistress of a country mansion was not only to invite— that is, 
urge and tease— her company to eat more than human throats could 
conveniently swallow, but to carve every dish, when chosen, with her 
own hands. The greater the lady, the more indispensable the duty. 
Each joint was carried up in its turn to be operated upon by her, and 
her alone, since the peers and knights on either hand were so far 

78 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

from being bound to offer their assistance, that the very master of the 
house, posted opposite to her, might not act as h6r croupier; his 
department was to push the bottle after dinner. As for the crowd of 
guests, the most inconsiderable among them — the curate, or subaltern, 
or squire's younger brother — if suffered through her neglect to help 
himself to a slice of the mutton placed before him, would have 
chewed it in bitterness, and gone home an affronted man, half 
inclined to give a wrong vote at the next election. There were then 
professed carving-masters, who taught young ladies the art scienti- 
fically, from one of whom Lady Mary said she took lessons three 
times a week that she might be perfect on her father's public days, 
when, in order to perform her functions without interruption, she was 
forced to eat her own dinner alone an hour or two beforehand. 
And so amongst romances, dictionaries, classic authors, varied 
occasionally by great feasts and prodigious feats of carving, the years 
of girlhood passed on. Sometimes the young ladies sighed over their 
solitary lives, and longed for the time when some hero of their imagi- 
nation would bear them off to a more congenial sphere. Lady Mary 
found her hero during one of her rare visits to London. Her especial 
friend was Mistress^ Anne Wortley Montagu, who had a handsome 
brother, Edward, the cousin of Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax, a 
man of wit and learning, and the friend of Steele and Addison. He 
is said to have frequently supplied hints for The Spectator, if indeed 
he did not write some of the papers ; the second volume of The 
Tatler is dedicated to him. Paying his sister a visit one day he 
encountered Lady Mary, and, struck by her beauty, entered into 
conversation with her. To his surprise, he, who had hitherto felt little 
but contempt for the sex, discovered that he had met at last a woman 
of sense and cultivation, and one too — greater wonder still — ^who 
could converse with him upon his favourite classics. He spoke of 
Quintus Curtius ; she had not read that author. The next day he 
sent her a splendid edition of his works, and opposite the title-page 
a copy of verses written in the highly-strained eulogy of the period. 

The old Latin historian formed the first chapter of their love 
story. Mr. Montagu fell desperately in love with his sister's friend. 
He was some years her senior, but Lady Mary was flattered by the 
attentions of so distinguished and learned a man, and lent a willing 
ear to his vows. She liked him, preferred him to anyone she had 

^ The title of Mistress was then applied to even very young unmarried ladies. 
* Miss' was a term of contempt, as indicatinga very childish and frivolous personage; 
among the great, children of even five or six years of age were gravely styled Mis- 
tress Anne, or whatever their name might be. 

A Representative Lady of t/te Last Century. 79 

met ; but that she loved him, in the highest sense of the word, is very 
doubtful, to judge from her letters to him at this period. She seems 
to be perpetually questioning her heart upon the subject — a very 
suspicious circumstance, since love never questions or reasons. Mr. 
Montagu evidently felt this, and his letters are irritable, reproach- 
ful, full of doubt and dissatisfaction. More than once she vows 
she will not write to him again, that all must be at an end between 
them. But the breach is quickly repaired by apologies and renewed 
protestations upon the part of the gentleman. Here are some 
extracts from one of her letters, which will give a good idea of the 
whole correspondence :^- 

You think, if you married me, I should be passionately fond of you one 
month and of somebody else the next. But neither would happen. I can esteem, 
I can be a friend, but I don't know whether I can love. Expect all that is com- 
plaisant and easy, but never what is fond in me. . . . If you can resolve to live with 
a companion that will have all the deference due to your superiority of good sense, 
and that your proposals can be agreeable to those on whom I depend, I have 
nothing to say against them. . . . When people are tied for life, it is their mutual 
interest not to grow weary of one another. If I had all the personal charms I 
want, a face is too slight a foundation for happiness. You would soon be tired 
with seeing every day the same thing. "Where you saw nothing else you would 
have leisure to mark all the defects, which would decrease in proportion as the 
novelty lessened, which is always a great charm. ... I should not choose to 
live in a crowd ; I could be very well pleased to be in London, without making a 
great figure, or seeing above eight or nine agreeable people. Apartments, table, 
&c., are things that never come into my head. But 1 will never think of anything 
^-ithout the consent of my family, and advise you not to fancy a happiness in 
entire solitude, which you would find only in fancy. . . . However, preserve mc 
your friendship, which I think of with a good deal of pleasure and some vanity. 
If ever you sec me married, I flatter myself you'll see a conduct you will not be 
sorry for your wife to imitate. 

Th^ marquis entertained the suitor, and all went smoothly in that 
quarter until it came to the business of settlements ; the marquis 
required that all Mr. Montagues possessions should be settled in the 
marriage deed upon the eldest son infuturo, Mr. Montagu refused ; 
he objected to the law of entail on principle. So the negotiations 
were broken off, and Lady Mary was told to think no more of him. 
But although he would not reHnquish his principle, neither would he 
relinquish the lady. A clandestine correspondence was carried on 
between them, much in the same strain as before, until another suitor 
appeared in the field, whom the marquis peremptorily commanded 
her to receive. The lover urged an elopement ; the lady hesitated ; 
all was prepared for the marriage with the rival, even the wed- 
ding dress made. The letters grew more and more urgent. She did 

8o The Genile>nan^s Magazine. 

not love him — her heart was given to another, he said, to whith she 
replied : — 

I am willing to abandon all conversation but yours. If you please, I will never 
see another man. In short, I will part with anything for you, but you. I will not 
have you a month to lose you for the rest of my life. If you can pursue the plan 
of happiness begun with your friend, and take me for that friend, I am ever yours. 
I have examined my own heart whether I can leave everything for you ; I think I 
can. If I change my mind, you shall know before Sunday ; after that I will not 
change my mind. 

She did not change her mind, and on a certain Sunday night stole 
out of her father's house to meet her lover, who was waiting for her 
close by in a chaise. The marriage licence is dated August i6, 171 2. 
As soon as she was gone her sister, in a great fright lest they should 
fall into her father's hands, burned a diary she had kept and all her 
private papers. The marquis was greatly enraged at his daughter's 
flight, and seems never to have really forgiven her. 

After the honeymoon, political or other business seems to have 
obliged Mr. Montagu to go to London, and his young wife went to 
stay with some friends at Walling Wells, in Nottinghamshire. Mar- 
riage seems to have solved her doubts and strengthened her love, and 
her first letter to him after their separation breathes a spirit of tender 
affection : — 

I check myself when I grieve for your absence by remembering how much 
reason I have to rejoice in the hope of passing my whole life with you : a good 
fortune not to be valued. I am afraid of telling you I return thanks for it to 
Heaven, because you will charge me with hypocrisy ; but you are mistaken. I assist 
every day at public prayers in this family, and never forget in my private ejacula- 
tions how much I owe to Heaven in making me yours. 

The next letter, within three months aftel their marriage, is in a 
sadder strain.^ She is uneasy at his long silence, fears he is not well, 
or that he thinks writing to her of small importance. She is very 
nearly distracted amongst her dismal apprehensions, and concludes 
with " Pray, dear, write to me, or I shall be very mad." Again, she 
writes, " When I gave myself to you, I gave up the very desire of 
pleasing the rest of the world, and was pretty indifferent about it." 
A little later it is, " I am alone, without any amusements to take up 
my thoughts. I am in circumstances in which melancholy is apt to 
prevail even over all amusements, dispirited and alone, and you 

write me quarrelsome letters I hate complaining. *Tis no 

sign I am easy that I do not trouble you with my headaches and my 

spleen I believe you have kindness enough for me to be sorry, 

and so you would tell me, and things remain in their primitive state. 

A Represent tative Lady of the Last Century. 8 1 

I choose to spare you that pain. I would always give you pleasure. 
I know you are ready to tell me that I do not ever keep to these 
good maxims. I confess I often speak impertinently, but I always 
repent of it" 

A year after the marriage a son was bom, the afterwards notorious 
Edward Wortley Montagu. Although still living a solitary life, only 
broken by occasional visits from her husband, she sent away the child 
to nurse, according to the fashion of the time. It seems strange, how- 
ever, that, under the circumstances, she did not keep it with her, and 
appears to indicate a lack of affection. Upon the accession of 
George I., Mr. Montagu was appointed a Lord of the Treasury. 
The following capitally written letter, under date September 24, 
1714, is in quite a different strain from those that have gone before, 
and is the first outward sign of the country maiden developing into 
the woman of the world : — 

Though I am very impatient to see you, I would not have you, by hastening 
to come down, lose any part of your interest. ... I am glad you think of serving 
your friends ; I hope it will put them in mind of serving yourself. I need not 
enlarge upon the advantages of money; everything we hear puts us in remembrance 
of it. If it was possible to restore liberty to your country, or limit the encroachments 
of prerogative by reducing yourself to a garret, I should be pleased to share so 
glorious a poverty with you: but as the world is and will be, 'tis a sort of duty 
to be rich, that it may be in one's power to do good — riches being another word 
for power, towards the obtaining of which the first necessary qualification is im- 
pudence, and (as Demosthenes said of pronunciation in oratory) the second is 
impudence, the third is still impudence. No modest man ever did or ever will 
make his fortune. Your friend Lord Halifax, Robert Walpole, and all other 
remarkable instances of quick advancement, have been remarkably impudent. 
The Ministry is like a play at Court ; there's a little door to get in and a great 
crowd without, shoving and thrusting who shall be foremost ; people who knock 
others with their elbows, disregard a little kick of the shins, and still thrust 
heartily forwards, are sure of a good place. Your modest man stands behind in 
the crowd, is shoved about by everybody, his clothes torn, almost squeezed to 
death, and sees thousands get in before him that don't make so good a figure as 
himself. I don't say it is impossible for an impudent man not to rise in the world ; 
but a moderate merit with a large share of impudence is more probable to be 
advanced than the greatest qualifications without it. 

Soon after writing this epistle Lady Mary joined her husband in 
London. And so vanishes the pretty, pleasant image of the country 
maiden and the loving young wife, and in its place rises another 
I love not to contemplate — the hard, brilliant, sarcastic, censorious 
woman of the world. The first part of my story has been something 
of an idyll ; the second, alas ! is but a town eclogue, as coarse as 
any to be found among the writings of the eighteenth century. 

VOL. CCXLI. NO, 1759. G 

82 The Genthmatis Magazine. 

Part the Second. — ^The Woman of the World. 

We are accustomed to regard the Court of Charles IL as the 
m plus ultra of licentiousness, but that of the first and second 
George was worse. The sparkle, the gaiety, the occasional refine- 
ment even of the former, although not in any way morally 
excusing it, redeemed something of its coarseness. But the 
gross, brutal vice, the satyr-like debauchery, which marked our 
manners at the accession of the house of Hanover, are too 
hideous and loathsome for description. After reading Churchill's 
Juvenalian satire, " The Times," we may ask ourselves whether the 
Romans under Heliogabalus could have been much worse. Chester- 
field, in an unpublished memoir, quoted by I^rd Mahon, emphatic- 
ally pictures the change of manners which followed Queen Anne's 
death. He says that she had always been devout, chaste, and formal 
— ' in short, a prude ; that she discouraged as much as she could the 
usual and even most pardonable vices of Courts; that her drawing- 
rooms were more respectable than agreeable, and had the air more of 
solemn places of worship than of the gaiety of a Court. " Public 
and crowded assemblies, where every man was sure of meeting 
every woman, were not known in those days. But every woman 
of fashion kept what was called * a day,' which was a formal circle of 
her acquaintances of both sexes, unbroken by any card-tables, tea- 
tables, or other amusements. There the fine women and fine men 
met perhaps for an hour; and if they had anything particular to say 
to one another, it could only be conveyed by the language of the 
eyes. The other public diversion was merely for the eyes, for it was 
going round and round the ring in Hyde Park, and bowing to one 
another slightly, respectfully, or tenderly, as occasion required. No 
woman of fashion could receive any man at her morning toilet with- 
out alarming the husband and his fiiends. If a fine man and fine 
woman were well enough disposed for a private meeting, the execu- 
tion of their good intentions was difficult and dangerous. The pre- 
liminaries could not be settied by the hazardous expedient of letters, 
and the only places almost for the conclusion and ratification of the 
definitive treaty were the Indian houses in the City, where the good 
woman of the house, from good-nature, and perhaps some little 
motive of interest, let out her back rooms for the convenience of 
distressed lovers. But all these difficulties and dangers were in a 
great measure removed by the arrival of the present Royal Family. 

A Representative Lady of the Last Century. 83 

King George I. loved pleaisures, and was not delicate in the choice 
of them." 

And yet the Court, unlike those of other famous libertine 
monaichs, such as Charles II. and Louis XV., was as dull as it was 
vile. Instance the following from one of Pope's letters : — 

i went by water lo Hampton Court. . . . Miss Bellenden and Miss Lepel 
took me under their protection, and gave me a dinner, with something I liked 
bet]ter-*-an,opportupityof conversation with Mrs. Howard. We all agreed 
that the life of a M^iid of Honour was, of all things, the most miserable, and 
wished that every woman who envied it had a specimen of it. To eat Westphalia 
ham in a morning; ride over hedges and ditches on borrowed hacks ; come home 
in the heat of the day with a fever, and, what is worse a hundred times, with a red 
mairk .on the forehead from an uneasy hat ; all this may qualify them to make 
excellent wives for fox-hunters, and bear abundance of ruddy-complexioned 
children. As soon as they can wipe off the sweat of the day, they must simper an 
hour and catch cold in the Princess's apartment ; from thence, as Shakespeare 
has it, to- dinner, with what appetite they may, and after that till midnight, work 
walk, or think — which they please. I can easily believe no lone house in Wales, 
with a mountain and rookery, is more contemplative than this Court ; and, as a 
proof of it I need only tell you, Miss Lepel walked with me three or four hours by 
moonlight, and we met no creature of any quality but the King, who gave audience 
to the Vice-Ch|unberlain, all alone, under the garden wall. 

Bad as was the Court of the second George, it was a slight im- 
provement upon that of his father, but still coarse, vicious, hideous 
enough in all conscience. A society of roues and gamblers (male 
and female), gross sensualists, corrupt politicians, without honour or 
honesty, political intriguers (male and female), women without delicacy 
pr virtue, vulgar as they were ignorant, avaricious as they were ex- 
travagant, staking their own and their husband's honour on the 
shuffle of a pack of cards — these were the associations into the very 
vortex of which the young wife was thrown. It is not my purpose to 
represent her as a rustic innocent, ignorant of the vices of the town, 
and drawn into them by very simplicity — far from it. I have no 
doubt that Lpady Mary knew pretty well the manners of her time, at 
least from hearsay — her own father was notorious for libertinism ; 
but, until she was introduced at Court, she had never mingled in this 
life. Her beauty, her wit, and her accomplishments made a great sen- 
sation; all the Don Juans were at her feet, lavishing upon her their 
fulsome and indecent flatteries : among the rest the Prince of Wales, 
who, however, upon finding her adhere to the king's party, soon 
discontinued his atteritioiis in high dudgeon. 

In 1716 Mr. Montagu was appointed ambassador to Constanti- 

84 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

nople, and his wife accompanied him. On the way she stayed some 
little time at Vienna, and is very explicit, but not at all severe, in her 
letters upon the moral laxity that prevailed there. " A woman," she 
writes, " looks out for a lover as soon as she is married, as part of her 
equipage, without which she could not be genteel, and the first 
article of the treaty is establishing the pension, which remains to the 

lady, in case the gallant should prove inconstant A great 

part of their emulation consists in trying who shall get most ; and 
having no intrigue at all is a disgrace." She adds that the ladies 
remarked, she " could not possibly have common sense, since she 
had been in the town above a fortnight, and had made no steps 
towards commencing an amour J* 

This journey had the remarkable result of introducing inocu* 
lation, until then unknown, into England. Writing from Adrianople 
she says ; — 

The small-pox, so fatal and so general among us, is here entirely harmless, 
by the invention of ingrafting, which is the term they give it. There is a set of 
old women who make it their business to perform the operation every autumn, in 
the month of September, when the great heat is abated. People send to one 
another to know if any of their family has a mind to have the small-pox ; they 
make parties for this purpose, and, when they are met, the old woman comes with 
a nut-shell full of the matter of the best sort of small-pox, and asks what vein 
you please to have opened. She immediately rips open that you offer her with a 
large needle, and puts into the vein as much matter as can lie upon the head of 
her needle, and after that binds up the little wound with a hollow shell, and Iq 
this manner opens four or five veins. . . . There is no example of anyone who 
has died in it, and you may believe I am well satisfied of the safety of thia 
experiment since I intend to try it on my dear little son. 

Upon her return to England, at the end of 1718, she used every 
means to bring this remedy against the foul, disfiguring disease into 
practice. Of the opposition she encountered Lady Louisa Stuart, 
before quoted, gives the following description : — 

What an arduous, what a fearful, and, we may add, what a thankless enter- 
prise it was, nobody is now in the least aware. Those who have heard her 
applauded for it ever since they were bom, and have also seen how joyfully 
vaccination was welcomed in their own days, may naturally conclude that when 
once the experiment was made, and had proved successful, she could have nothing, 
to do but to sit down triumphant and receive the thanks and blessings of her 
countr}nnen. But it was far otherwise. . . . In the four or five years immediately 
succeeding her arrival at home, she seldom passed a day without repenting he 
patriotic undertaking, and she vowed she would never have attempted it if she 
had foreseen the vexation, the persecution, and even the obloquy it brought upon 
her. The clamours raised against the practice, and of course against her, were 
beyond belief. The faculty all rose in arms to a nun, foretelling failure and the 
most disastrous consequences ; the clergy descanted from their pulpits on the. 

A Repre$entative Lady of the Last Century. S5 

impiety of thus seeking to take events out of the hands of Providence ; the 
common people were taught to hoot at her as an unnatural mother who had risked 
the lives of her own children. And notwithstanding that she had gained many 
supporters among the higher and more enlightened classes, headed by the Princess 
of Wales, who stood by her firmly, some even of her acquaintances were weak 
enough to join in the outcry. . . . The four great physicians deputed by Govern- 
ment to watch the progress of her daughter's inoculation betrayed not only such 
incredulity as to its success, but such unwillingness to have it succeed, such an 
evident spirit of rancour and malignity, that she never cared to leave the child 
alone with them one second, lest it should in some secret way suffer from their 
interference. But by-and-by everybody came to her begging her advice, and 
she constantly carried her daughter with her to infected houses to prove her 

Lady Mary now went to reside at Twickenham, near Pope's 
Villa, where she was soon surrounded by some of the first literary 
magnates of the age. This brings us to that most painful incident of 
her life, her quarrel with Pope. She had made his acquaintance 
some Httle time before she left for the East, and kept up a constant 
correspondence with him during her absence. The little crooked 
poet had fallen desperately in love with the brilliant beauty, and had 
written rapturous and even languishing verses' upon her perfections; 
nay more, boldly avowed his passion in his letters in a strain some- 
what extraordinary to our present ideas of propriety. But soon after 
her return a coldness sprang up between them, which gradually ad- 
vanced to a malignant hatred upon his side, and a scarcely less 
bitter animosity on hers. The cause of this sudden revulsion of 
feeling has never been ascertained — beyond conjecture. Her own 
account of the affair was that at some ill-chosen time he made such 
outrageous love to her, as, in spite of her utmost endeavours to be 
angry and look grave, provoked an immoderate fit of laughter; from 
which moment wounded vanity made him her implacable enemy. In 
two places she contradicts this statement : in one letter she says, " I got 
a conmion friend to ask Mr. Pope why he left off visiting ;" in another 
she confesses that she knew no reason for his bitterness. It is not by any 
means improbable that such a scene as that described might have 
passed between them, and, if so, would have stung the poet to the 
quick. But other causes combined to produce the ultimate hatred. 
When first they became acquainted Pope was indifferent to politics, 
and leaned, perhaps, a little to the Whigs ; but by this time he had 
gone over entirely to the Tories. The Montagus were uncompro- 
mising Whigs, and only those who favoured that party were to be 
found at their house ; the incongeniality of this society was probably 

* See his '* Miscellanies," and the concluding paragraph of ^'Abelard and 
Heloise," in which she is indicated. 

86 The Gentleman's Magazine. • 

the first cause of his estrangement. Jealousy was the next-^jealou^ 
of the profligate Duke of Wharton, whose attentions Lady Mary 
seems to have encouraged ; the Duke wrote a satire upon him which 
she vastly enjoyed, and read to all her acquaintances ; she had also 
ridiculed his epitaph on the two rustic lovers struck by lightning. 
Lady Mary's wit was as sharp and cruel as even Pope's; it spared 
neither friend nor foe, and was ever ready to seize upon any moral 
or physical infirmity to deride, wound, or crush a victim. The jpoef, 
both in habits and person, gave ample scope to such a disposition, 
above all in his passion for her, and it may be safely averred that shie 
did not spare him. Himself the most bitter of satirists, as a natural 
sequence he was the most acutely sensitive to ridicule. 

The war began with the first edition of the Dundad, in which 
Lady Mary appeared under the sobriquet of Sappho. There was no 
mistaking the personage meant, as in the days of their. fiiendship be 
had addressed complimentary verses to her by tiiat name. But the 
first bitter attack was contained in the Third Epistle of die '^ Moral 
Essays :" — 

Rufa, whose eye quick glancing o'er the paric 
Attracts each light gay meteor of a spark, 
Agrees as ill with Rufa stud}ring Locke, 
As Sappho's di'monds with her dirty smock ; ' 
Or Sappho at her toilet's greasy task, 
With Sappho fragrant at an evening masque. 
So morning insects that in muck b^un, 
Shine, buzz, and fly-blow in the setting sun. 

Even these lines were far exceeded by a gross and abominable 
couplet, too disgusting to be quoted, in the first of the " Imitations of 
Horace." He afterwards denied that these lines were intended for 
her, but Pope did not scruple to tell a falsehood when driven into a 

Another victim of his pen was Lord Hervey, the author of 
the celebrated " Memoirs of the Reign of George IL" But his 
contemporaries scarcely gave him credit for those powers the fruits of 
which were reserved for posterity. He was a foppish, effeminate 
young gentleman, a ladies' dangler, who courted the muses in weak, 
mawkishly sentimental verses, mere milk-and-water dribblings, such 
as were in vogue in those days. Aaron Hill describes him as — 

Tuneful Alexis on the Thames' fair side, 
The ladies' plaything and the muse's pride. 

* With all her beauty and fascination, Lady Mary was notoriously untidy and 
even dirty in her dress. 

A Representative Lady of the Last Century. 87 

From his earliest youth he was extremely delicate in health and 
appeaiance, a circumstance which his father ascribed to the use " of 
that detestable and poisonous plant, tea.'' Scandal gave him to Lady 
Maiy as one of her lovers.^ Be that as it may, he shared with her 
Ae unenviable distinction of figuring in Pope's Satires, where he was 
ridiculed under the name of " Lord Fanny." 

Soon afterwards there appeared a poem entitled " Verses, ad- 
dressed to the Imitator of the First Satire of the Second Book of 
Horace." This is published among Lady Mary's works, but in one 
of her letters she says : "Now, I can assure him (Pope) they were 
wrote (without my knowledge) by a gentleman of very great merit 
whom I very much esteem, who he will never guess, and who if he 
did know he durst not attack." This points to Lord Hervey ; but it 
wbvdd seem to have been their joint production, although the larger 
share probably belongs to the gentieman. " The verses " are remark- 
able only for their extreme malignancy, and their attack upon the 
personal deformities of the satirist. I subjoin a few lines : — 

Thine is just such an image of his pen,' 
As thou thyself art to the sons of men ; 
Where our own species in burlesque we trace, 
A sign-post likeness of the human race, 
That is at once resemblance and disgrace. 
If none with vengeance yet thy crimes pursue, 
Or give thy manifold affronts their due ; 
If limbs unbroken, skin without a stain, 
Unwhipt, unblanketed, unkicked, unslain. 
That wretched little carcase you retain j 
That reason is not that the world wants eyes ; 
But thou art so mean, they see, and they despise. 

As thou hat'st, be hated by mankind, 
And with the emblem of thy crooked mind 
Marked on thy back, like Cain, by God's own hand, 
Wander like him accursed through the land. 

' At Lord Hervey's death, a few years after Lady Mary went abroad, his son 
sealed up and returned all her letters to his father, with an assurance that none of 
fhem had been read by him. Her reply was, that she ** could almost regret he 
bad not glanced his eye over a correspondence which would have shewn him 
what so young a man might be inclined to dpubt — the possibility of a long and 
steady friendship between two persons of different sexes without the least mixture 
of love." It may be very much doubted. A platonic attachment between a 
young and beautiful woman and a notorious rotU would be an extraordinary phe- 
nomenon in any age, much less in the eighteenth century. No scrap of these 
letters remain ; she destroyed them all. 

' Horace's. 

88 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

Woe to those who entered the lists against Pope ! — so poor a com* 

position as this could but bring down a crushing retort upon the 

writers. The answer was given in the " Epistle to Arbuthnot;" in 

that terrible picture, unsurpassed in the satiric literature of the world, 

which, while we shudder at its fiendish malignancy, strikes us with 

admiration by its power and brilliancy. I allude to the character of 

Sponis, under which he typified Lord Hervey, beginning with the 

lines : — 

Let Sporos tremble. — What, that thing of silk, 
Sponis, that mere white curd of ass's milk ? ' 
Satire or sense, alas ! can Sponis feel. 
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel ? &c 

Lady Mary did not figure in the satire, but Pope unceasingly vili- 
fied her in his letters and conversation until she left England in 1739, 
for a twenty-two years' exile, — ^we can regard her absence in no other 
light. She and her husband separated — for ever. They continued to 
maintain a friendly correspondence; but although he twice visited the 
Continent, he never went to see her. The cause of her exile and of 
her separation from Mr. Montagu both remain mysteries that are 
never likely to be elucidated. She kept a diary, which after her 
death was jealously guarded by her daughter, Lady Bute, who 
occasionally read portions of this, and extracts from a large mass of 
her mother's letters, to favoured persons, but never allowed them to 
go out of her hands, and ultimately destroyed them. The cause 
assigned for doing so was that they contained so many scandalous 
stories against persons still living or only recently dead. On her 
return from Italy, in 1761, Lady Mary gave into the hands of Mr. 
Sowden, the English minister at Rotterdam, a number of letters for 
publication after her death. Upon receiving intelligence of this the 
Butes seem to have been in great alarm, and solicited him to give 
up his charge; which he did for, it is said, a consideration of ;£^5oo. 
Lady Bute was evidently fearful of something dishonouring to her 
mother's memory coming to light. 

We now come to the question, were the scandalous asseverations 
of Pope and Horace Walpole — both bitter enemies, let it be remem- 
bered — justified by truth, or was she, as most of her biographers are 
inclined to believe, an innocent and much maligned woman ? It 

* Lord Ilervey having experienced some incipient attacks of epilepsy, put 
himself upon a very strict regimen, of which ass's milk and flour-biscuits formed 
the principal part. His countenance is said to have been so pallid that he used 
paint to soften its ghastly appearance. In the portrait of him, however, which 
still exists, he appears a handsome man. Portrait -painters, however, have been 
known to flatter. 

' A Representative Lady of the Last Century. 8g 

seems to me that no men would have dared to speak and write of 
a lady of her position in such gross terms as both Pope and Walpole 
did, unless they had strong grounds for their scandal. There are no 
innuendoes, no disguise about the words of either ; they are set forth 
boldly as assertions known to be true, and not to be contradicted. 
Although it is not probable that her intimacy with Pope ever 
exceeded in act the moral boundary, the letters he wrote to her 
while she was in the East could scarcely have been addressed to a 
modest woman. Here is a specimen : — 

I think I love you as well as King Herod could Herodias (although I never 
had so much as one dance with you), and would as freely give you my heart in a 
dish as he did another's head. But since Jupiter will not have it so, I must be 
content to show my taste in life, as I do in painting, by loving to have as little 
drapery as possible. (Here follows a sentence a little too broad for transcription 
in this place.) . . . You may easily imagine how desirous I must be of a 
correspondence with a person who had taught me long ago that it was as possible 
to esteem at first sight as to love $ and who has since ruined me for all the 
conversation of one sex, and almost all the friendship of the other. ... I 
make you a present of all the good wishes I am capable of forming or feeling 
for a deserving object ; but miue are indeed so warm that I fear they can proceed 
from nothing but what I can't very decently own to you, much less to another. 

Her apologists answer that such was the strain in which the fine 
gentlemen of the age were accustomed to address the fine ladies. 
Truly so ; but what were the fine ladies of the age ? Diogenes' 
lantern would have been required to find one virtuous woman among 
them. If Lady Mary was such, she was an exception to the rule; 
but the exception should be extended to the style of correspondence 
she permitted. How coarsely, and even lewdly, she herself could 
write is proved in the " Epistle from Arthur Grey, the Footman ; " ^ 
a composition which a penny street ballad-monger would now blush 
to own ; and added to its offences against decency is the cmelty of 
holding up the poor" lady, whose notoriety was already sufficiently 
dreadful, to further ribaldry. Nor does this poem stand alone ; the 
** Town Eclogues " and others of her fugitive pieces are almost equally 
gross ; while in her letters she treats the licentious manners of her age 
with a hardness and levity impossible to one who condemned them. 
Lady Bute, as we have seen, considered these epistles unfit for publi- 
cation, and Dr. Young is said to have destroyed all those she wrote 
him as being too indecent for the public eye. These are facts for 
which her apologists offer no explanation, and to which they carefully 
avoid all reference. They urge, however, that all the letters she received 

* He was convicted at the Old Bailey for an attempt to commit violence upon 
his mistress. 

90 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

■—even those written by Pope, and in which he usually sends his 
compliments and remembrances to Mr. Montagu — ^were endorsed 
by her husband. Such is certainly the case; but were they endprsed 
at the time, or did they afterwards fall into his hands ? or does therein 
lie the secret of their separation ? 

Her whole married life, even from its commencement, is enveloped 
in mystery. That Mr. Montagu was passionately in love with her none 
who read his letters can doubt. He is ever lu-ging for a return equal 
to his own, and the truth of his affection is proved by those glimpses 
of an ineffectual struggle against it, as though he doubted the com- 
patibility of their tempers, or of lasting happiness resulting from their 
union, which we find here and there. And yet within three months 
after their marriage we find the woman he so ardently desired left in 
solitude, and continually complaining of his absence. And we must 
remember that Mr. Montagu was no common gallant, likely to cloy 
immediately on possession, but a man of sense and solid acquire- 
ments, and greatly superior to his average contemporaries. We can 
only conjecture that that incompatibility of disposition he had feared 
was realised ; although upon which side lay the first fault it is im- 
possible to say. Readers of the lady's letters of that period will 
certainly sympathise with her. Piqued probably by this early neglect, 
we next find her one of the reigning beauties of a licentious court 
The inferences are not difficult to draw. After their return from the 
Eastern embassy the estrangement continued to widen. More than 
one, to use the mildest expression, doubtful adventure is ascribed 
to her. She gambled in South Sea Stock to a great extent, and a 
Frenchman named R^mond — according to St. Simon, a very worthless 
kind of fellow — placed in her hands jQs,ooo to invest in this specu- 
lation. When he demanded his money, it was not forthcoming. He 
threatened, and afterwards sent a letter addressed to Mr. Montagu 
stating the whole affair ; she intercepted the messenger, but was in a 
great state of terror. In a letter to her sister, Lady Man, she says: 
" You may imagine the inevitable, eternal misfortune it would have 
thrown me into had it been delivered by the person to whom it was 
entrusted." In the next epistle, however, she places herself in quite 
a different light : " Did I refuse giving the strictest account, or had I 
not the clearest demonstration in my hand of the truth with which I 
acted, there might be some temptation for this baseness, but all he 

can expect by informing Mr. M is to hear him repeat the same 

things I assert ; he will not retrieve one farthing, and I am for ever 
miserable." Of course, scandal added Rdmond to the list of her 
lovers, but there are no proofs to support such a supposition. Lady 

A Representative Lady of the Last Century. 91 

Mary had lost considerably in the " bubble ; " probably some of the 
money so squandered was gained by discreditable means; she feared 
the truth reaching her husband's ears, as well as the ridicule which 
was showered upon every victim of that nefarious scheme. Mr. 
Montagu was methodical and upright in all his dealings, and it has been 
suggested that some disgraceful money transaction might have been 
the cause of their ultimate separation. The event created no gossip, 
no sensation ; it seems to have been tacitly yet not formally under- 
stood between them, but unknown to the world at the lime — a fact 
which, considering the number of gossips and scandal-mongers there 
were about, adds another mystery to the many others. From the period 
of his jetiun from Constantinople Mr. Montagu falls into the back- 
ground, and appears only here and there in an indirect and unim- 
portant way. Indeed, from the first we fail to obtain any clear view 
of his character. Throughout the two-and-twenty years, she never 
breathes one word of complaint against him — a circumstance which 
tells strongly in his favour ; for Lady Mary had gall and wormwood 
for all who injured her, and was not a person to play the wronged 
but angelic wife. To the last she writes to him even tenderly and 
affectionately, for the correspondence of this strange couple was never 
interrupted. Instance the following passage from a letter addressed 
to him not long before his death : — 

Having had no opportunity of writing by a private hand, I have delayed 
some time answering your last letter, which touched me more than I am either 
able or willing to express. I hope your apprehensions of blindness are not con- 
firmed by any fresh symptoms of that terrible misfortune. If I could be of any 
service to you, on that or any other occasion, I shall think my last remains of 
life well employed, 

A wife who had been banished her husband's hearth for years 
through no fault of her own would scarcely write thus. The greater 
portion of those long years was passed in a farm at Lovero, near 
Venice, where she cultivated silkworms for mercantile purposes. But 
she occasionally visited Venice and Florence. Writing from the 
latter place, imder date September 25, 1740, Horace Walpole gives 
the following maliciously-coloured sketch : — 

Did I tell you Lady Mary is here ? She laughs at my Lady Walpole, scolds 
my Lady Pomfret, and is laughed at by the whole town. Her dress, her avarice, 
and her impudence must amaze anyone that never heard her name. She wears a 
foul mob that does not cover her great black locks, that hang loose, never combed 
or curled ; an old mazarine blue wrapper, that gapes open and discovers a canvas 
petticoat. Her face swelled violently on one side with the remains of . . partly 
covered with plaister, and partly with white paint, which for cheapness she has 
bought so coarse that you would not use it to wash a chimney. 


^2 The Gentletnatis Magazine. 

After making all allowance for this as being a portrait drawn by an 
enemy, enough of truth remains to make it exceedingly painful to 
those who have contemplated the Lady Mary of Thoresby. Her 
letters of this period are as vivacious, as clever, as hard, and as 
satirical as ever ; if the worm is gnawing at her heart, she hides her 
anguish beneath a gay exterior. Only once or twice is a sad note 
struck, and that only when the end is drawing very close. " A long 
series of disappointments," she writes to Sir James Stuart in 1761, 
" have, perhaps, worn out my natural spirits, and given a melancholy 
cast to my way of thinking. I would not communicate this weakness 
to any but yourself, who can have compassion." The plaint is only such 
a gentle one as might be expected from even a happy old age, but the 
proud, hard, indomitable spirit, that the weight of seventy-two years 
could not subdue, breaks out in the midst of it. 

Mr. Montagu died in 1761, leaving behind an immense fortune, 
and then, at the desire of her daughter, she returned to England. 
One more picturS, even more terrible than the last, and from the same 
merciless hand — the date February 2, 1762: — "Lady Mary Wortley 
is arrived ; I have seen her. I think her avarice, her dirt, and her 
vivacity are all increased Her dress, like her language, is a galimatias 
of several countries, — the ground-work rags, and the embroidery 
nastiness. She needs no cap, no handkerchief, no gown, no petti- 
coat, no shoes. An old black-laced hood represents the first, the fur 
of a horseman's coat, which replaces the third, serves for the second, 
a dimity petticoat is deputy and officiates for the fourth, and slippers 
act the part of the- last When I was at Florence and she was 
expected there, we were drawing Sortes Virgilianas for her; we 
literally drew Insandm vatem aspides. It would have been a stronger 
prophecy now even than it was then." Her cousin, Miss Elizabeth 
Montagu, gives us a sketch almost as whimsical, but not so coarsely 
personal : — 

She does not look older than when she went abroad, has more than the 
vivacity of fifteen, and a memory which is perhaps unique. ... I was very gra- 
ciously received by one who neither thinks, speaks, acts, nor dresses like anybody 
else. Her domestick is made up of all nations, and when you get into her draw- 
ing-room, you imagine you are in the first story of the Tower of Babel. An 
Hungarian servant takes your name at the door ; he gives it to an Italian, who 
delivers it to a Frenchman ; the Frenchman to a Swiss, and the Swiss to a 
Polander ; so that, by the time you get to her ladyship's presence, you have 
changed your name five times without the expense of an act of parliament. 

Later on, Horace Walpole wrote to Mann : — " Lady Mary is de- 
parting. She brought over a cancer in her breast, which she concealed 

A Representative Lady of the Last Century. 93 

till about .six weeks ago ; it burst, and there are no hopes for her. 
She behaves with great fortitude, and says she has lived long enough,'* 
Indomitable to the last ! 

And so the curtain falls upon this Representative Woman of her 
age ; for, from first to last, it would be difficult to discover a more 
complete female type of the eighteenth century. Whether we contem- 
plate her at the head of her father's table at Thoresby, or the brilliant 
Court beauty, or the cynical, censorious, and coarsely-spoken woman 
of her old age, she is the reflection of her time. Her literary reputa- 
tion rests solely upon her " Letters." But, unlike those of S^vign^, 
they can scarcely be regarded as genuine epistles. It was her custom 
to write down her observations and adventures in a journal, from 
which she extracted matter for her correspondence. Many of the 
letters were never sent to the persons to whom they are endorsed. 
All those she received from celebrated personages were also entered 
in that book. She was in the habit of giving copies of her composi- 
tions in manuscript to her friends. Thus, after her death, more than 
one version of her letters appeared. After buying up those confided 
to Sowden, the Butes were astounded to find the greater part of them, 
with some variations, published a few months afterwards. Included 
among these are her best — those written from the East Some of the 
originals have perished, and some of those given are undoubtedly 
spurious. These compositions will always amuse and instruct from 
their sprightliness, and as pictures of manners; but they are in no way 
equal to those of S^vignd, whom, strange to say, Lady Mary affected 
to despise. 


94 The Gentlematis Magazine. 


IN all that world-wide empire which the spirit of English colonisa- 
tion has conquered from out of the realms of the distant and 
unknown, and added year by year to the English dominions, it is 
doubtful whether there be any one spot of corresponding area, pre- 
senting so many large questions — social and political — as the colony 
of Natal. Wrested some thirty years ago from the patriarchal Boers, 
and peopled by a few scattered scores of adventurous emigrants. 
Natal has with hard toil gained fdr itself a precarious foothold hardly 
yet to be called an existence. Known chiefly to the outside world 
as the sudden birthplace of those tremendous polemical missiles 
which battered so fiercely, some few years ago, against the walls of 
the English Church, it is now attracting attention to the shape and 
proportion of that unsolved riddle of the future, the Native Question. 
In those former days of rude and hand-to-mouth legislation, when 
the certain evil of the day had to be met and dealt with before the 
possible evil of the morrow, the seeds of great political trouble were 
planted in the young colony, seeds whose fruit is fast ripening before 
our eyes. 

When the strong aggressive hand of England has grasped some 
fresh portion of the earth's surface, there is yet a spirit of justice in 
her heart and head which prompts the question, among the first of 
such demands, as to how best and most fairly to deal by the natives 
of the newly-acquired land. In earlier times, when steam was not, 
and telegraphs and special correspondents were equally unknown 
agencies for getting at the truth of things, this question was more 
easily answered across a width of dividing ocean or continent. Then 
distant action might be prompt and sharp on emergency, and no one 
would be the wiser. But of late years, owing to these results of civili- 
sation, harsh measures have, by the mere pressure of public opinion, 
and without consideration of their necessity in the eyes of the 
colonists, been set aside as impracticable and inhuman. In the case 
of Natal, most of the early questions of possession and right were 
settled, sword in hand, by the pioneer Dutch, who, after a space of 
terrible warfare, drove back the Zulus over the Tugela, and finally 

A Zulu War-Dance. 95 

took possession of the land. But they did not hold it long. The 
same hateful invading Englishman, with his new ideas and his 
higher forms of civilisation, who had caused them to quit the " Old 
Colony," the land of their birth, came and drove them, vi et armisy 
from the land of their adoption. And it was not long before these 
same English became lords of this red African soil, from the coast 
up to the Drakensberg. Still there were difficulties ; for although the 
new-comers might be lords of the soil, there remained yet a remnant, 
and a^ery troublesome remnant, of its original and natural masters: 
shattered fragments of the Zulu power in Natal, men who had once 
swept over the country in the army of Chaka the Terrible, Chaka of 
the Short Spear, but who had remained behind in the fair new land, 
when Chaka's raids had been checked by the white man and his 
deadly weapons. Remnants, too, of conquered aboriginal tribes, who 
had found even Chaka's rule easier than that of their own chieftains, 
swelled the amount to a total of some 100,000 souls. 

One of the first acts of the English Government when it took up 
the reins was to allot to each of these constituent fragments a large 
portion of land. This might perhaps have been short-sighted 
legislation, but it arose from the necessity of the moment. According 
to even the then received ideas of colonisation and its duties, 
it ^vas hardly possible — danger apart — to drive all the natives over 
the frontier, so they were allowed to stay and share the rights and 
privileges of British subjects. But the evil did not stop there. 
Ere long some political refugees, defeated in battle, fled before 
the avenging hand of the conqueror, and craved place and pro- 
tection from the Government of Natal. It was granted : and the 
principle once established, body after body of men poured in : for, 
in stepping over the boundary line, they left the regions of ruin 
and terrible dealh, and entered those of peace, security, and 

Thus it is that the native population of Natal, fed from within 
and without, has in thirty years more than quadrupled its numbers. 
Secluded from the outside world in his location, the native has lived 
in peace and watched his cattle grow upon a thousand hills. His 
wealth has become great and his wives many. He no longer dreads 
swift " death by order of the king," or by word of the witch-doctor. 
No " impi," or native regiment, can now sweep down on him and 
" eat him up,'* that is, carry offhis cattle, put his kraal to the flames, and 
himself, his people, his wives, and children to the assegai. For the 
first time in the story of the great Kafir race, he can, when he rises 
in*thcTO6niing,l>esure th^t he will not sleep that night, stifl", in a 

96 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

bloody grave. He has tasted the blessings of peace and security, and 
what is the consequence ? He has increased and multiplied until 
his numbers are as grains of sand on the sea-shore. Overlapping the 
borders of his location, he squats on private lands, he advances like 
a great tidal wave, he cries aloud for room, more room. This is the 
trouble which stares us in the face, looming larger and more distinct 
year by year ; the great ever-growing problem which thoughtful men 
fear must one day find a sudden and violent solution. Thus it comes 
to pass that there hangs low on the horizon of Soutli Africa the dark 
cloud of the Native Question. How and when it will biu^t no man 
can pretend to say, but some time and in some way burst it must, 
unless means of dispersing it can be found. 

There is now at work among the Kafir population the same 
motive power which has raised in turn all white nations, and, having 
built them up to a certain height has then set to work to sap them 
until they have fallen — the power of civilisation. Hand in hand the 
missionary and the trader have penetrated the locations. The efforts 
of the teacher have met with but a partial success. " A Christian 
may be a good man in his way, but he is a Zulu spoiled," said Cety- 
wayo, King of the Zulus, when arguing the question of Christianity 
with the Secretary for Native Affairs; and such is, not altogether 
wrongly, the general feelings of the natives. With the traders it has 
been different. Some have dealt honestly — and more, it is to be 
feared, dishonestly — not only with those with whom they have had 
dealings, but with their fellow-subjects and their Government. It 
is these men chiefly who have, in defiance of the law, supplied 
the natives with those two great modem elements of danger and 
destruction, the gin-bottle and the rifle. The first is as yet injuri- 
ous only to the recipients, but it will surely re-act on those who have 
taught them its use ; the danger of possessing the rifle may come 
home to us any day and at any moment. 

Civilisation, it would seem, when applied to black races, pro- 
duces effects diametrically opposite to those we are accustomed 
to observe in white nations: it debases before it can elevate; 
and as regards the Kafirs it is doubtful, and remains to be 
proved, whether it has much power to elevate them at all. Take the 
average Zulu warrior, and it will be found that, in his natural state, 
his vices are largely counterbalanced by his good qualities. In times 
of peace he is a simple, pastoral man, leading a good-humoured easy 
life with his wives and his cattle, perfectly indolent and perfectly 
happy. He is a kind husband and a kinder father, he never disowns 
his poor relations, his hospitality is extended alike to white and 

A Zulu War-Da7ice. 97 

black, he is open in his dealings and faithful to his word, and his 
honesty is a proverb in the land. True, if war breaks out and the 
thirst for slaughter comes upon him, he turns into a different man. 
When the fierce savage spirit is once aroused, blood alone will cool 
it. But even then he has virti^es. If he is cruel, he is brave in the 
battle ; if he is reckless of the lives of others, he regards not his own; 
and when death comes, he meets it without fear, and goes to the 
spirits of his fathers boldly, as a warrior should. And now reverse 
the picture and see him in the dawning light of that civilisation which 
by intellect and by nature he is some five centuries behind. See him, 
ignoring its hidden virtues, eagerly seize and graft its most prominent 
vices on to his own besetting sins. Behold him by degrees adding 
cunning to his cruelty, avarice to his love of possession, replacing 
his bravery by coarse bombast and insolence, and his truth by lies. 
Behold him inflaming all his passions with the maddening drink of 
the white man, and then follow him through many degrees of degra- 
dation until he falls into crime and ends in a gaol. Such are, in only 
too many instances, the consequences of this partial civilisation, and 
they are not even counterbalanced, except in individual cases, by the 
attempt to learn the truths of a creed which he cannot, does not, 
pretend to understand. And if this be the result in the comparatively 
few individuals who have been brought under these influences, it 
may be fair to argue that it will differ only in degree, not in kind, 
when the same influences are brought to bear on the same material 
in corresponding proportions. , Whatever may or may not be the 
effects of our partial civilisation when imperfectly and spasmodically 
applied to the vast native population of South Africa, one thing must, 
in course of time, result from it. The old customs, the old forms, the 
old feelings, must each in turn die away. The outer expression of 
these ^-ill die first, and it will not be long before the very memory of 
them will fade out of the barbaric heart. The rifle must replace, 
and, indeed, actually has replaced, the assegai and the shield, and 
portions of the cast-off uniforms of all the armies of Europe are to 
be seen where until lately the bronze-like form of the Kafir warrior 
went naked as on the day he was born. But so long as native cus- 
toms and ceremonies still linger in some of the more distant locations, 
so long will they exercise a certain attraction for dwellers amid tamer 
scenes. It is therefore from a belief in the magnetism of contrast 
that the ]?ighly-civilised reader is invite<i to come to where he can 
still meet the barbarian face to face and witness that wild ceremony, 
half jest, half grim earnest— a Zulu war-dance. 

It was the good fortune pf the >vriter of this paper to find himself, 

VOL. CCXLI, NO. 1759. H 

98 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

early in the past year, travelling through the up-country districts of 
Natal, in the company of certain high officials of the English Govern- 
ment. The journey dragged slowly enough by waggon, and some 
monotonous weeks had passed before we pitched our camp, one 
drizzling gusty night, on a high plateau surrounded by still loftier 
hills. A wild and dismal place it looked in the growing dusk of an 
autumn evening, nor was it more suggestively cheerful when we rode 
away from it next morning in the sunshine, leaving the waggons 
to follow slowly. Our faces were set towards a great mountain, 
towering high above its fellows, called Pagadi's Kop — Pagadi being a 
powerful chief who had fled from the Zulus in the early days of the 
colony, and had ever since dwelt loyally and peacefully here in this 
wild place, beneath the protection of the Crown. Messengers had 
been duly sent to inform him that he was to receive the honour of a 
visit, for your true savage never likes to be taken by surprise. Other 
swift-footed runners had come back with the present of a goat, and the 
respectful answer, so Oriental in its phraseology, that *' Pagadi was old, 
he was infirm, yet he would arise and come to greet his lords." Every 
mile or so of our slow progress a fresh messenger would spring up before 
us suddenly, as though he had started out of the earth at our feet, and 
prefixing his greeting with the royal salute, given with up-raised right 
arm, * Bayete, Bayete ! ' — a salutation only accorded to Zulu royalty, to 
the Governors of the different provinces, and to Sir T. Shepstone, the 
Secretary for Native Affairs — he would deliver his message or his news 
and fall into the rear. Presently came one, saying, " Pagadi is very old 
and weak ; Pagadi is weary ; let his lords forgive him if he meet them 
not this day. To-morrow, when the sun is high, he will come to 
their place of encampment and greet his lords and hold festival before 
them. But let his lords, the white lords of all the land from the Great 
Mountains to the Black Water, go on up to his kraal, and let them 
take the biggest hut and drink of the strongest beer. There his son, 
the chief that is to be, and all his wives, shall greet them ; let his lords 
be honoured by Pagadi, through them." An acknowledgment was sent, 
and we still rode on, beginning the ascent of the formidable stronghold, 
on the flat top of which was placed the chiefs kraal. A hard and 
stiff climb it was, up a bridle path with far more resemblance to a 
staircase than a road. But if the road was bad, the scenery and the 
vegetation were wild and beautiful in the extreme. Now we came to 
a deep " kloof" or cleft in the steep mountain side, at the bottom of 
which, half hidden by the masses of ferns and rich rank greenery, 
trickled a little stream ; now to an open space of rough ground, covered 
only with huge, weather-washed boulders. A little further on lay 

A Zulu War-Dance. 99 

a Kafir mealie-garden, where the tall green stalks were fairly bent 
to the ground by the weight of the corn-laden heads, and beyond 
that, again, a park-like slope of grassy veldt And ever, when we 
looked behind us, the vast undulating plain over which we had 
come, stretched away in its mysterious sunlit silence, till it blended 
at length with the soft blue horizon. 

At last, after much hard and steady climbing, we reached the 
top and stood upon a perfectly level space ten or twelve acres 
in extent, exactly in the centre of which was placed the chief's 
kraal. Before we dismounted we rode to the extreme western 
edge of the plateau, to look at one of the most perfectly lovely 
\-iews it is possible to imagine. It was like coming face to , face 
with great primeval Nature, not Nature as we civilised people know 
her, smiling in corn-fields, waving in well-ordered woods, but Nature 
as she was on the morrow of the Creation. There, to our left, cold 
and grey and grand, rose the great peak, flinging its dark shadow far 
beyond its base. Two thousand feet and more beneath us lay the 
valley of the Mooi river, with the broad tranquil stream flashing silver 
through its midst. Over against us rose another range of towering 
hilb, with sudden openings in their blue depths through which 
could be seen the splendid distances of a champaign country. Im- 
mediately at our feet, and seeming to girdle the great gaunt peak, lay 
a deep valley, through which the Little Bushman's River forced its 
shining way. All around rose the great bush-clad hills, so green, 
so bright in the glorious streaming sunlight, and yet so awfiilly 
devoid of life, so solemnly silent. It was indeed a sight never to be 
forgotten, this wide panoramic out-look, with its towering hills, its 
smiling valleys, its flashing streams, its all-pervading sunlight, and 
its deep sad silence. But it was not always so lifeless and so still. 
Some few years ago those hills, those plains, those rivers were teem- 
ing each with their various creatures. But a short time since, and 
standing here at eventide, the traveller could have seen herds of 
elephants cooling themselves yonder after their day's travel, whilst 
the black-headed white-tusked sea-cow rose and plunged in the pool 
below. That bush-clad hill was the favourite haunt of droves of 
buffaloes and elands, and on that plain swarmed thousands upon 
thousands of springbok and of quagga, of hartebeest and of oribi. 
All alien life must cease before the white man, and so these wild 
denizens of forest, stream, and plain have passed away never to 

Turning at length from the contemplation of a scene so new 

and so surprising, we entered the stockade of the kraal. These 

H 2 

icxD The Gentleman s Magazine. 

kraals consist of a stout outer palisade, and then, at some distance 
from the first, a second enclosure, between which the cattle are 
driven at night, or in case of danger. At the outer entrance we 
were met by the chiefs eldest son, a finely-built man, who greeted us 
with much respect and conducted us through rows of huts to the 
dwelling-places of the chiefs family, fenced off firom the rest by a 
hedge of Tambouki grass. In the centre of these stood Pagadi's 
hut, which was larger and more finely woven and thatched than the 
rest. It is impossible to describe these huts better than by sapng 
that they resemble enormous straw beehives of the old-fashioned pat- 
tern. In front of the hut were grouped a dozen or so of women 
clad in that airiest of costumes, a string of beads. They were 
Pagadi's wives, and ranged from the first shrivelled-up wife of his 
youth to the plump young damsel bought last month. The spokes- 
woman of the party, however, was not one of the wives, but a daughter 
of Pagadi's, a handsome girl, tall, and splendidly formed, with a 
finely-cut face. This prepossessing young lady entreated her lords 
to enter, which they did, in a very unlordly way, on their hands and 
knees. So soon as the eye became accustomed to the cool darkness 
of the hut, it was sufficiently interesting to notice the rude attempts 
at comfort with which it was set forth. The flooring, of a mix- 
ture of clay and cow-dung, looked exactly like black marble, so 
smooth and polished had it been made, and on its shining, level 
surface couches of buckskin and gay blankets were spread in an 
orderly fashion. Some little three-legged wooden sleeping-pillows 
and a few cooking-pots made up its sole furniture besides. In one 
comer rested a bundle of assegais and war-shields, and opposite the 
door were ranged several large calabashes full of " twala " or native 
beer. The chiefs son and all the women followed us into the hut 
The ladies sat themselves down demurely in a double row opposite 
to us, but the young chieftain crouched in a distant comer apart and 
played with his assegais. We partook of the beer and exchanged 
compliments, almost Oriental in their dignified courtesy, in the soft 
and liquid Zulu language, but not for long, for we had still far to ride. 
The stars were shining in southern glory before we reached the place 
of our night's encampment, and supper and bed were even more than 
usually welcome. There is a pleasure in the canvas-sheltered meal, 
in the after-pipe and evening talk of the things of the day that has 
been and those of the day to come, here, amid these wild surround- 
ings, which is unfelt and unknown in scenes of greater comfort and 
higher civilisation. There is a sense of freshness and freedom in the 
wind-swept waggon-bed that is not to be exchanged for the softest 

A Zulu War-Dance, loi 

couch in the most luxurious chamber. And when at length the 
morning comes, sweet in the scent of flowers, and glad in the voice 
of birds, it finds us ready to greet it, not hiding it from us with 
canopy and blind, as is the way of cities. 

The scene of the coming spectacle of this bright new day lies 
spread before us, and certainly no spot could have been better chosen 
for dramatic effect. In firont of the waggons is a large, flat, open 
space, backed by bold rising ground with jutting crags and dotted 
clumps of luxuriant vegetation. All around spreads the dense 
thorn-bush, allowing but of one way of approach, from the left. Dur- 
ing the morning we could hear snatches of distant chants growing 
louder and louder as time wore on, and could catch glimpses of wild 
figures threading the thorns, warriors hastening to the meeting-place. 
All through the past nigJit the farmers for miles around had been 
aroused by the loud insistent cries of the chief's messengers as they 
flitted far and wide, stopping but a moment wherever one of their 
tribe sojourned, and bidding him come and bring plume and shield, 
for Pagadi had need of him. This day, we may be sure, the herds are 
left un tended, the mealie-heads ungathered, for the herdsmen and 
the reapers have come hither to answer to the summons of their 
chief. I^ittle reck they whether it be for festival or war ; he needs 
them and has called them, and that is enough. Higher and higher 
rose the fitful distant chant, but no one could be seen. Suddenly 
there stood before us a creature, a woman, who, save for the colour 
of her skin, might have been the original of any one of Macbeth's 
'* weird sisters." Little, withered, and bent nearly double by age, 
her acrivity was yet past comprehension. Clad in a strange jumble 
of snake-skins, feathers, furs, and bones, a forked wand in her out- 
stretched hand, she rushed to and fro before the little group of white 
men. Her eyes gleamed like those of a hawk through her matted 
hair, and the genuineness of her frantic excitement was evident by 
the quivering flesh and working face, and the wild, spasmodic words 
she spoke. The spirit at least of her rapid utterances may thus be 
rendered : — 

" Ou, ou, ou, ai, ai, ai. Oh, ye warriors that shall dance before 
the great ones of the earth, come ! Oh, ye dyers of spears, ye plumed 
suckers of blood, come ! I, the Isauusi, I, the witch-finder, I, the 
wise woman, I, the seer of strange siglits, I, the reader of dark 
thoughts, call ye ! Come, ye fierce ones ; come, ye brave ones, come, 
and do honour to the white lords ! Ah, I hear ye ! Ah, I smell ye 1 
Ah, I see ye ; ye come, ye come ! " 

Hardly had her invocation trailed off* into the " Ou, ou, ou, ai, ai, 

I02 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

ai," with which it had opened, when there rushed over the edge of the 
hill, hard by, another figure scarcely less wild, but not so repulsive in 
appearance. This last was a finely-built warrior arrayed in the full 
panoply of savage war. With his right hand he grasped his spears, 
and on his left hung his large black ox-hide shield, lined on its inner 
side with spare assegais. From the " man's " ring round his head 
arose a single tall grey plume, robbed from the Kafir crane. His 
broad shoulders were bare, and beneath the arm-pits was fastened a 
short garment of strips of skin, intermixed with ox-tails of different 
colours. From his waist hung a rude kilt made chiefly of goat's hair, 
whilst round the calf of the right leg was fixed a short fringe of black 
ox-tails. As he stood before us with lifted weapon and outstretched 
shield, his plume bending to the breeze, and his savage aspect made 
more savage still by the graceful, statuesque pose, the dilated eye 
and warlike mould of the set features, as he stood there, an emblem 
and a type of the times and the things which are passing away, his 
feet resting on ground which he held on sufferance, and his hands 
grasping weapons impotent as a child's toy against those of the white 
man, — he who was the rightful lord of all, — what reflections did he 
not induce, what a moral did he not teach ! 

The warrior left us little time, however, for either reflections or 
deductions, for, striking his shield with his assegai, he rapidly poured 
forth this salutation : — 

" Bayete, Bayete, O chief from the olden times, O lords and chief 
of chiefs ! Pagadi, the son of Masingorano, the great chief, the leader 
of brave ones, the son of Ulubako, greets you. Pagadi is humble 
before you ; he comes with warrior and with shield, but he comes to 
lay them at your feet. O father of chiefs, son of the great Queen over 
the water, is it permitted that Pagad* approach you ? Ou, I see it is, 
your face is pleasant ; Bayete, Bayete ! " 

He ends, and, saluting again, springs forward, and, flying hither 
and thither, chants the praises of his chief. " Pagadi," he says, 
" Pagad', chief and father of the Amocuna, is coming. Pagad', the 
brave in battle, the wise in council, the slayer of warriors ; Pagad* 
who slew the tiger in the night time ; Pagadi, the rich in cattle, the 
husband of many wives, the father of many children. Pagad' is coming, 
but not alone ; he comes surrounded with his children, his warriors. 
He comes like a king at the head of his brave children. Pagad' 's 
soldiers are coming ; his soldiers who know well how to fight ; his 
soldiers and his captains who make the hearts of brave men to sink 
down ; his shakers of spears ; his quaffers of blood. Pagad' and his 
soldiers are coming ; tremble all ye, ou, ou, ou ! " 

A Zulu War-Datue. 103 

As the last words die on his lips the air is filled with a deep, 
murmuring sound like distant thunder ; it swells and rolls, and finally 
passes away to give place to the sound of the rushing of many feet. 
Over the brow of the hill dashes a compact body of warriors running 
swiftly in lines of four with their captain at their head, all clad in the 
same wild garb as the herald. Each bears a snow-white shield carried 
on the slant, and above each warrior^s head rises a grey heron's plume. 
These are the advance-guard formed of the " greys " or veteran troops. 
As they come into full view the shields heave and fall, and then from 
every throat out bursts the war-song of the Zulus. Passing us swiftly, 
they take up their position in a double line on our right, and stand 
there solemnly chanting all the while. Another rush of feet, and 
another company flits over the hill towards us, but they bear coal- 
black shields, and the drooping plumes are black as night ; they fall 
into position next the first comers and take up the chant. Now they 
come faster and faster, but all through the same gap in the bush. 
The red shields, the dun shields, the mottled shields, the yellow 
shields, follow each other in quick but regular succession, till at length 
there stands before us a body of some 500 men, presenting, in 
their savage dress, their various shields and flashing spears, as wild a 
spectacle as it is possible to conceive. 

But it is not our eyes only that are astonished, for from each of those 
five hundred throats there swells a chant never to be forgotten. From 
company to company it passes, that wild, characteristic song, so touch- 
ing in its simple grandeur, so expressive in its deep, pathetic volume. 
The white men who listened had heard the song of choirs ringing down 
resounding aisles, they had been thrilled by the roll of oratorios 
pealing in melody, beautiful and complex, through the grandest of 
man's theatres, but never till now had they heard music of voices 
so weird, so soft and yet so savage, so simple and yet so all-expressive 
of the fiercest passions known to the human heart. Hark ! now it 
dies ; lower and lower it sinks, it grows faint, despairing : "Why does 
he not come, our chief, our lord? why does he not welcome his 
singers? Ah ! see, they come, the heralds of our lord ! our chief is 
coming to cheer his praisers, our chief is coming to lead his warriors." 
Again it rises and swells louder and louder, a song of victory and 
triumph. It rolls against the mountains, it beats against the ground: 
** He is coming, he is here, attended by his chosen. Now shall we 
go forth to slay ; now shall we taste of the battle." Higher yet and 
higher, till at length the chief, Pagadi, swathed in war-garments of 
s^jlendid furs, preceded by runners and accompanied by picked 
warriors, creeps slowly up. He is old and tottering, and of an im- 

I04 The Gentleman s Magazme, 

wieldy bulk. Two attendants support him, whilst a third bears his 
shield, and a fourth (oh bathos!) a cane-bottomed chair. One mo- 
ment the old man stands and surveys his warriors and listens to the 
familiar war-cry. As he stands, his face is lit with the light of battie, 
the light of remembered days. The tottering figure straightens itself, 
the feeble hand becomes strong once more. With a shout, the old 
man shakes off his supporters and grasps his shield, and then, for- 
getting his years and his weakness, he rushes to his chieftain's place 
in the midst of his men. And as he comes the chant grows yet 
louder, the time yet faster, till it rises, and rings, and rolls, no longer 
a chant, but a war-cry, a paean of power. Pagadi stops and raises 
his hand, and the place is filled with a silence that may be felt. But 
not for long. The next moment five hundred shields are tossed 
aloft, five hundred spears flash in the sunshine, and with a sudden 
40ar, forth springs the royal salute, " Bayete ! " 

The chief draws back and gives directions to his indunas^ his 
thinkers, his wise ones, men distinguished from their fellows by the 
absence of shield and plume ; the itidunas pass on the orders to the 
captains, and at once the so-called dance begins. First they manoeuvre 
a little in absolute silence, and changing their position with wonderful 
precision and rapidity ; but as their blood warms there comes a sound 
as of the hissing of ten thousand snakes, and they charge and charge 
again. A pause, and the company of *' greys " on our right, throwing 
itself into open order, flits past us like so many vultures to precipitate 
itself with a wild, whistling cry on an opposing body which rushed to 
meet it They join issue, they grapple ; on them swoops another 
company, then another and another, until nothing is to be distinguished 
except a mass of wild faces heaving ; of changing forms rolling and 
writhing, twisting and turning, and, to all appearance, killing and 
being killed, whilst the whole air is pervaded with a shrill, savage 
sibillation. It is not always the same cry ; now it is the snorting of 
a troop of buffaloes, now the shriek of the eagle as he seizes his 
prey, anon the terrible cry of the " night-prowler," the lion, and now — 
more thrilling than all — the piercing wail of a woman. But whatever 
the cry, the cadence rises and falls in perfect time and unanimity ; 
no two mix with one another so as to mar the effect of each. 

Again the combatants draw back and pause, and then, forth from 
the ranks springs a chosen warrior, and hurls himself on an imagi- 
nary foe. He darts hither and thither with wild activity, he bounds 
five feet into the air like a panther, he twists through the grass like a 
snake, and, finally, making a tremendous effort, he seems to slay 
bis airy opponent, and sinks exhausted to the ground. The on- 

A Zulu War-Dafue. 105 

lookers mark their approval or disapproval of the dancer's feats by 
the rising and falling of the strange whistling noise, which, without 
the slightest apparent movement of face or lip, issues from each 
mouth. Warrior after warrior comes forth in turn from the ranks and 
does battle with his invisible foe, and receives his meed of applause. 
The last warrior to spring forward with a wild yell is the ftiture chief, 
Pagadi's son and successor, our friend of yesterday. He stands, his 
shield in one hand and his lifted battle-axe — borne by him alone— in 
the other, looking proudly around, and rattling his lion-claw necklets, 
whilst from every side bursts forth a storm of sibillating applause, not 
from the soldiers only, but from the old men, women and children. 
Through all his fierce pantomimic dance, it continues, and when he 
has ended it redoubles, then dies away, but only to burst out again 
and again, with unquenchable enthusiasm. 

In order, probably, to give the warriors a brief breathing space, 
another song is now set up, and it is marvellous the accuracy and 
knowledge of melody with which the parts are sung, like a glee or 
catch, the time being kept by a conductor, who rushes from rank to 
rank beating time with a wand. Yet it is hardly like chanting, rather 
like a weird, sobbing melody, with tones in it which range from the 
deepest bass to the shrillest treble. It ends in a long sigh, and then 
follows a scene, a tumult, a mel^e, which hardly admits of a descrip- 
tion in words. The warriors engage in mimic combat, once more 
they charge, retreat, conquer, and are defeated, all in turns. In front 
of them, exciting them to new exertions, with word and gesture, 
undulate in a graceful dance of their own the " intombas," the young 
beauties of the tribe, with green branches in their hands, and all their 
store of savage finery glittering on their shapely limbs. Some of 
these maidens are really handsome, and round them again dance the 
children, armed with mimic spears and shields. Wild as seems the 
confusion, through it all, even in the moments of highest excitement, 
some sort of rough order is maintained ; more, it would seem, by 
mutual sounds than by word of command or sense of discipline. 

Even a Zulu warrior must, sooner or later, grow weary, and at 
length the signal is given for the dance to end. The companies are 
drawn up in order again, and receive the praise and thanks of those 
in whose honour they had been called together. To these compli- 
ments they reply in a novel and imposing fashion. At a given signal 
each man begins to softly tap his ox-hide shield with the handle of 
his spear, producing a sound somewhat resembling the murmur of the 
distant sea. By slow degrees it grows louder and louder, till at length 
it rolls and re-echoes from the hills like thunder, and comes to its 

io6 The Gentleman^s Magazine. 

conclusion with a fierce, quick rattle. This is the royal war-salute of 
the Zulus, and is but rarely to be heard. One more sonorous salute 
with voice and hand, and then the warriors disappear as they came, 
dropping swiftly and silently over the brow of the hill in companies. 
In a few moments no sign or vestige of dance or dancers remained, 
save, before our eyes, the well-trodden ground, a few lingering girls 
laden with large calabashes of beer, and in our ears some distant 
dying snatches of chants. The singers were on their joyful way to 
slay and devour the oxen provided as a stimulus and reward for them 
by their chiefs liberality. 

When the last dusky figure had topped the rising ground over 
which the homeward path lay, and had stood out for an instant against 
the flaming background of the westering sun, and then dropped, as 
it were, back into its native darkness beyond those gates of fire, the 
old chief drew near. He had divested himiself of his heavy war- 
dress, and sat down amicably amongst us. 

"Ah," he said, taking the hand of Sir Theophilus Shepstone, and 
addressing him by his native name, " Ah ! t'Sompseu, t'Sompseu, the 
seasons are many since first I held this your hand. Then we two were 
young, and life lay bright before us, and now you have grown great, 
and are growing grey, and I have grown very old ! I have eaten the 
com of my time, till only the cob is left for me to suck, and, oWy it is 
bitter. But it is well that I should grasp this your hand once more, 
oh, holder of the Spirit of Chaka^ before I sit down and sleep with 
my fathers. 07v, I am glad." 

Imposing as was this old-time war-dance, it is not difficult to 
imagine the heights to which its savage grandeur must swell when it 
is held — as is the custom at each new year — at the kraal of Cetywayo, 
King of the Zulus. Then 30,000 warriors take part in it, and a 
tragic interest is added to the fierce spectacle by the slaughter of 
many men. It is, in fact, a great political opportunity for getting rid 
of the " irreconcilable " element from council and field. Then, in the 
moment of wildest enthusiasm, the witch-finder darts forward and 
lightly touches with a switch some doomed man, sitting, it may be, 
quietly among the spectators, or capering with his fellow soldiers. 
Instantly he is led away, and his place knows him no more. 

Throughout the whole performance there was one remarkable and 
genuine feature, the strong personal attachment of each member of 
the tribe to its chief— not only to the fine old chief, Pagadi, their 

* The reader must bear in mind that the Zulu warrior is buried sitting and in 
full war-dress. Chaka, or T*Shaka, was the founder of the Zulu power, and his 
spirit is supposed to have passed into the white chief. 

A Zulu War-Dance. 107 

leader in former years, but to the head and leader of the years to 

It must be remembered that this system of chieftainship and its 
attendant law is, to all the social bearings of South African native life, 
what the tree is to its branches; it has grown through long, long 
ages amid a people slow to forget old traditions, and equally slow to 
receive new ideas ; dependent on it are all the native's customs, all 
his keen ideas of right and justice ; in it lies embodied his history of 
the past, and from it springs his hope for the future. Surely even the 
most uncompromising of those marching under the banner of civilisa- 
tion must hesitate before they condemn this deep-rooted system to 
instant uprootal. The various influences of the white man have 
eaten into the native system as rust into iron, and their action will 
never cease till all be destroyed. The bulwarks of barbarism, its 
minor customs and minor laws, are gone, or exist only in name; but 
its two great principles, polygamy and chieftainship, yet flourish and 
are strong. Time will undo his work and find for these also a place 
among forgotten things. And it is the undoubted duty of us EngUsh, 
who absorb peoples and territories in the high name of civilisation, 
to be true to our principles and our aim, and aid the great destroyer 
by any and every safe and justifiable means. But between the legi- 
timate means and the rash, miscalculating uprootal of customs and 
principles, -which are not the less venerable and good in their way 
because they do not accord with our own present ideas, there is a 
great gulf fixed. Such an uprootal might precipitate an outburst of 
the very evils it aims at destroying. 

What the ultimate effect of our policy will be, when the leaven 
has leavened the whole, when the floodgates are lifted, and this vast 
native population (which, contrary to all ordinary precedent, does 
not melt away before the sun of the white man's power) is let loose 
in its indolent thousands, unrestrained, save by the bonds of civilised 
law, who can presume to say ? But this is not for present considera- 
tion. Subject to due precautions, the path of progress must of 
necessity be followed, and the results of such following left in the 
balancing hands of Fate and the future. 

ti. R. rlt 

1 o8 The Gentleman's Magagine. 


AT that uncertain and mysterious hour 
^Vhen night's dark ocean flings its last dim wave 
Upon the roseate shores of happy dawn, 
Methought I saw a shadow pacing slow 
Between me and the swiftly fading stars. 
It bore the shape of woman in her prime, 
And all the rounded delicate outlines shone 
Clear through a vaporous veil of drifting cloud. 
Long did I watch it, in a secret awe, 
As with a solemn and majestic step 
It glided on its melancholy way. 
The cold white moon, upon the edge of heaven, 
Lay with upturned and wistful countenance, 
Paling before the faintly flushing East ; 
While that transcendent singer, Philomel, 
Swung on a quivering aspen-branch, and sang 
Once more her pleading, passionate song of love, 
Till, having poured her heart upon the air. 
She ended with a long-drawn, farewell note. 
And fled away amid the distant woods. 

Now gazing, I beheld that woman-shape 

Pause in her restless journey to and fro. 

And, raising up a white transparent hand. 

She plucked away the veil that draped her form. 

And faced me in unearthly loveliness ! 

Upon her lofty brow a laiu^el wreath 

Twined with the tresses of her golden hair. 

Which fell in curling locks and twisted braids 

Down o'er her bosom to her small bare feet, 

That peeped, like snowflakes, from beneath her robe 

Sable in hue, and bound about her waist 

With a broad circlet of flame-flashing stars. 

A Dream of Sappho. 109 

She seemed a child of mingled grief and joy ; 

A cherished sorrow, like a fragile flower, 

Grew 'neath her deep-fringed eyelids, and was kept 

Watered by bitter, yet triumphant tears ! 

Amid the silence, her entrancing voice 

Broke on my spirit like a sudden song ; 

The moon delayed departure while she spoke. 

And all the wondering universe was hushed 

To listen to the secrets of her soul. 

" Hear, O thou Earth !" she cried, in accents deep, 

" Hear, O thou wretched, yet most happy world ! 

Thou tiny habitation of mankind. 

Whereon I, living, loved, and, loving, died ! 

Though I am set at liberty to roam 

Through all the wide, imperishable spheres, 

Learning the endless mysteries of God, 

My spirit clings to thee, and visits still 

The little star whereon I found great joy. 

Yet suffered sorrow, even unto death ! 

But O my Lesbian home ! my native land, 

From whose green boughs I plucked the wreath of Fame, 

Hast thou forgot thy Sappho, and her songs ? 

Yea, I am Sappho ! Heaven's immortal fire 

Burned on my lips, and flamed in eloquent words 

Through all wide Hellas, like the lightning spears 

Which pierce the jet-black garments of a storm ! 

For me my people twined the laurel crown, 

And bore me in the high triumphal car, 

Strewing young roses 'neath my horses' hoofs. 

In Athens on my entry I was hailed 

With clamorous plaudits from ten thousand throats, 

While round me pressed the shouting multitude 

Eager to catch the faintest ray that fell 

From out th* inspired glory of mine eyes ! 

" Ah, I remember ! 'Twas on such a day 

I leaning from my chariot seat beheld 

A youth who wore the likeness of a god ; 

His clustering dark-brown locks were newly decked 

With fragrant violets — (O thrice happy flowers ! 

How proud ye must have been to perish there !) 

Tlie Genileman's Magazine. 

His eyes were large and luminous as stars ; 

And as I slowly passed in pompous state, 
Their glances fired my brain, my heart, my soul 
With passionate love that liveth in me still ! 

" Too soon I learned the name of him I loved. 
'Twas cold, impervious Phaon ! he who cared 
For nothing save his own too beauteous self. 
Yet knowing this, I bade him to my halls. 
And welcomed him as queen might welcome king. 
I spread rich feasts, and with my own fair hand 
Filled up his goblet with the rarest wines. 
Pledging his health in song. The while my slaves 
Swung perfumed censers round the vaulted room. 
And spread fresh myrtle-branches 'neath his feet, 
Divinest music breathed voluptuous strains 
Swooning in distant echoes on his ears. 

" One eve, as he reclined in languid grace, 
Listlessly leaning back, his waving curls 
Kissing the purple velvet of his couch, 
I, watching him, felt all my pent-up thought 
Surge in big waves through my tumultuous soul. 
The blood rushed quicker in my burning veins : 
The time had come when I must speak or die ! 
Trembling, I knelt beside him, and his arm, 
Supple and white, fell careless round my waist, 
\Vhile in sheer lack of thought he pressed his lips 
Lightly upon my hot and throbbing brow. 
My bosom panted like a friglttened bird 
Beneath its heavy weight of secret love ; 
So hiding my warm blushes in his breast, 
I whispered ' Phaon !' fearing yet in hope, 
' Phaon, I love thee more than fame or life; 
Give me thy heart, as I have giv'n thee mine ! ' 

" Scarce had I spoken when he leaped erect. 
Contempt and mockery curling round his mouth. 
With one strong hand he took me by the chin, 
And laughing in my face with cruel glee, 
Said, ' And is this the Sappho of the Greeks 
Who kneeling sues to Phaon for his love ? 

A Dream of Sappho, 1 1 x 

Thou humble Sappho ! know that Liberty 
Hath greater charm for Phaon than thyself ! 
Go ! tell the Greeks thy sorrow, and my scorn ! ' 
"Whereat he gathered up his silken robes 
And suddenly departed from my sight, 
Never to see me on the earth again ! 

" Never again, for when the crescent moon 

Lifted her silver horn above the sea, 

I stole unseen from out my palace gates ; 

Intolerable shame and black despair 

Lay heavy on my crushed and bleeding heart. 

I glided softly down the marble steps. 

Between the ranks of peaceful slumbering slaves, 

And hied me with a swift unfaltering foot. 

Straight to the lonely, grim Leucadian rock ; 

There did I pause a moment. All was still ! 

Before me lay the ocean, darkly blue 

And lovely in its calm, intense repose — 

The heavens were all ablaze with throbbing stars 

That to my 'wildered mind seemed scornful eyes 

Mocking, like Phaon, my great agony. 

As I stood gazing o'er the tranquil main 

I heard a solemn singing in its depths, 

Whereof I could distinguish but three words — 

* Phaon despiscth Sappho ! ' these were all ; 
Yet these alone did drive me raving mad ! 

I, Sappho, spurned ! My brain grew light as air. 
Frenzy embraced me : I unbound my locks 
And let them stream upon the wanton wind : 
I loosed my robes, and with uncertain feet 
Danced on the brink of Death ! I neared the edge 
Of the overhanging crag, and as I came 
Close to Destruction, with excess of joy 
I laughed aloud, while Echo laughed again, 
Sending wild peals among the startled rocks : — 

* Phaon ! ' I cried, * 'tis thou shalt tell the Greeks 
That Sappho's dead, and thou hast murdered her ! ' 
With that I leaped into the welcoming waves. 
And like a flash of light my prisoned soul 

Burst from its earthly mansion ! I was free ! 
And, poising in mid-air, I watched the world. 

112 The Gentleman's Magazine, 

" I saw my body cast upon the shore, 
And frightened fishermen did quake to meet 
The ghastly staring of its vacant eyes — 
They raised the dripping heavy locks of hair, 
Crying aloud, * Tis Sappho ! Sappho's dead ! * 
Through Hellas flew the words ; my senseless clay 
Was borne to Athens >vith a solemn pomp 
'Mid weeping thousands ! Little did they deem 
/ followed in the mournful funeral train ! 
When they had sealed mine ashes in the urn, 
And all the crowd had scattered to their homes, 
Phaon, the scorner, came to see my tomb. 
And Phaon wept ! O unfqrgotten tears ! 
O precious drops of balm ! he wept for me ! 
Anon he whispered * Sweet, why didst thou die ? 
Come back and I will give thee love for love ! * 
Through my new being rushed a flood of joy. 
For well I knew that in Elysian bowers 
Sooner or later our dissevered souls 
Should meet and solemnise their bridal- day. 
So, bending down, I kissed his sad sweet lips. 
And slowly passed into the Unknown Land." 
She ceased — and bowing low her queenly head, 
She melted in the bosom of a cloud ! 
The blushing sky announced the rising sun, 
And Chanticleer with loud discordant note 
Broke up the spell that hung upon the earth. 

Scarce did I hear the hum of wakening life 
Or feel the morning breezes kiss my cheek ; 
Heedless of day, I saw the golden beams 
Crown the fair forehead of the glowing East : 
My soul was dumb with wonderment and awe. 
Wrapt up in one amazing, glorious thought 
Of the intense Divinity and Strength 
And deathless Passion of a Woman's Love ! 





WE need not go back to periods of remote antiquity, to the 
annals of Greece and Rome, to the lost books of Euclid or 
the lost Decades of Livy ; we need not even go back to the great 
Elizabethan period of our own literature, to find instances of works 
once published, and more or less familiar to the generation in which 
they were produced, but of which every trace has disappeared. 
" Time, the consumer of all things," manages sometimes to do his 
devouring work very effectually within the limits of half a century. 
It is only fifty-five years since Shelley was drowned, and yet at least 
two little volumes of his, indubitably published, advertised, and re- 
viewed in the year 1810, are to all appearance lost to human ken. 
Two works by Charles Lamb and his sister, published about the same 
time, have long been supposed to have shared a similar fate. 

The unexpected discovery of one of these, under circumstances 
almost as romantic and extraordinary as those of its disappearance, 
has led us into the above train of reflection. Nor could the 
announcement of this discovery be more fittingly made than in the 
pages of the sole magazine still extant, in whose century and a half 
of honoured and famous contributors the name of Charles Lamb ^ 
ranks not as one of the least. 

It may safely be affirmed that during the two-and-forty years 
which have elapsed since the death of Lamb, the interest that 
encircles everything about him has been yearly on the increase, not 
on the wane, and has suffered no diminution from the departure, 
one after another, of most of those who knew him intimately in the 
flesh. And since the death of Mary Lamb the full revelation, till 
then withheld, of all the heroic self-sacrifice of that tender and 
subtle nature, has given to Charles Lamb's personality a charm, sur- 
rounded his memory with a halo, and won for him a kind of affec- 

* It was in the CentUmat^s Magazine (1813), vol. Ixxxiii. part i. pp. 
540-542, 617-622, that Lamb's paper ** On Christ's Hospital and the Character 
of the Christ's Hospital Boys " first appeared. 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1759. I 

1 14 TJie Gentlem&fi^ Magazine. 

tionate personal regard such as perhaps no other writer of this 
century has been able to awaken. Nor has our growing interest in 
the man in any way disturbed or diminished our interest in the writer. 
In the case of Dr. Johnson this has notoriously been so ; it has not 
been so in the case of Lamb. On the contrary, from the publication 
of his Letters and Final Memorials by Talfburd, down to. the. publi- 
cation of the three latest and most complete editions of his Works in 
1874-76, no pains have been spared, no efforts wanting, on the part 
of successive editors to unearth for the delectation of the world all 
the Elian waifs and strays that could by untiring research be ma4c to 
yield themselves to the industrious digger in the mines of 6ld and 
forgotten periodicals. 

The causes of the long and protracted disappearance of these 
little volumes cannot therefore have sprung either from ignorance of 
or indifference to their existence. There are three distinct allusions 
to the book in the published Letters of I^mb. Under date June 7, 
1809, he writes to Coleridge : — 

I shall have to send you, in a week or two, two volumes of Juvenile Poetry 

done by Mary and me within the last six months Our little poems are Init 

humble, but they have no name. You must read them, remembering they were 
task-work ; and perhaps you will admire the number of subjects, all of children, 
picked out by an old bachelor and an old maid. Many parents would not have 
found so many. . < • 

To another correspondent, Manning, Lamb writes early in.. the 
following year (January 2, 1 810): — .... 

There comes with this two volumes of minor poetry— a sequel to "Mrs. 
Leicester ;" the best [he playfully adds] you may suppose mine, the next best are 
my coadjutor's. You may amuse yourself by guessing them out, but I must tell 
you mine are but one-third in quantity of the whole. 

To Bernard Barton, seventeen years afterwards (1827), he writes 
from Chase Side, Enfield: — 

On emptying my bookshelves I found a "Ulysses,*' which I will send 

unless the book be out of print. One likes to have one copy of everything one 
does. I neglected to keep one of ** Poetry for Children," the joint production of 

Mary and mc, and it is not to be had for love or money ;. Know you anyone 

that has it, Jind would exchange it?" 

The existence of the book has therefore long been known to the 
readers of Charles Lamb and to collectors of rare books ; and 
the quest for it has grown more eager and hotter every year. The 
real causes of its total disappearance for ^o many years are s[uffi- 
ciently obvious— i. Its diminutive size, a 'tthy iSmo, of sf t]^'3| 

Discovery of Lamb's " Poetry for Children^ 1 15 

inches, proportionately thin, each volume containing little over 100 
pages, printed on paper of the thinnest imaginable texture, a. Its 
use mainly by children, generally a mote or less destructive order of 
beings. 3. The fact that it was already " out of print " within three 
or four -years of its first publication, that no* new edition was ever 
issued, and that it had become a rarity even in the author's life- 

In a list of " New Books for Children, published by M. J, Godwin, 
at the Juvenile Library, No. 41 Skinner Street," issued apparently in 
1 81 2, and generally found at the end of copies of Godwin's " Essay on 
Sepulchres" and other books published at that Library, the book in 
question is thus advertised : — . 

" Poetry for Children." Entirely Original. By the Author of ** Mrs. Leicester's 
School." In two vols., i8mo., ornamented with two beautiful frontispieces. 
Price li*. 6</. each, half-bound and lettered. * . . 

We are informed at the same time that it is " out of print, but the 
best pieces inserted in Mylius's * Fh^t Book of Poetry.'" These so- 
called " best pieces " turned out to be twenty-two in number, and 
were printed by Mr. Carew Hazlitt in his volume of " Poems, Letters, 
and Remains of Mary and Charles Lamb." Two further pieces were 
recovered by another seeker from Mylius's *' Poetical Class-Book," *. 
and these, together with five more pieces reprinted by Lamb himself 
in his collected Works in 1818, and in one of the "Essays of Elia," 
made a total of twenty-nine poems recovered out of eighty-four that 
the volumes now prove to contain. 

In collecting his Works in 18 18, Lamb printed only three of his 
own contributions to these volumes,/)^ Three Friends^ Queen Oriana's 
Dream^ To a River in which a Child was drowned^ and one of his 
sister's, David in the Cave of AduUam. His own exquisite poem of 
Hester^ rightly conjectured by an accomplished critic, who reviewed 
the collection of 1872 in the Graphic iox February 24 of that year, 
not to have been meant by Charles Lamb " for children," and the 
five other pieces distinguished by italics in the earlier collections of 
his writings as " by the author's sister," are now proved not to have 
appeared in the " Poetry for Children " at all. 

In his " Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading," which forms 
one of the "Last Essays of Elia," Lamb took occasion to quote "two 
very touching but homely stanzas " by " a quaint poetess of our day." 
A correspondent of Notes and Queries^ signing himself " Uneda," and 

* Lettered, we may note as a clue to the finding of the book, Leicester's Poetry, 

* Sec Poetry for Children^ by Charles and Mary Lamb. Edited and Prefaced 
by Richard Heme Shepherd. Lond. : B. M. Pickering. 1872. 

I 2 

1 1 6 Ttie Gentlentiuis Magazine^ 

dating from '' Philadelphia," stated, some ten years ago,' that 
** Charles Lamb's sister Mary was the * quaint poetess ' who wrote the 
verses called The Two Boys, quoted in one of his Essays." " They 
are to be found," he adds, " in a volume published early in this 
century, and entitled, " Poetry for Children : entirely Original. By 
the Author of * Mrs. Leicester's School' " This information proves to 
be correct even as regards the title of the little piece in question ; and 
as Lamb, in quoting the poem, does not give any title, the writer of 
that note must have seen the actual book. 

This gracious treasure-trove comes to us at last, as a henceforth 
inalienable possession, from a still more remote region of the world. 
From Adelaide, in South Australia, the Hon. W. Sandover sends 
us the long-lost book, which he has, in the most generous and 
obliging manner, placed at the disposal of the publishers of this 
magazine. Dating from Adelaide, December 28, 1876, he writes: — 

When on a visit to England in the year 1866 I was staying in Plymouth, 
where I attended a sale of furniture and books ; these happened to be among 
others purchased by me. The names of the authors not appearing on the title* 
page is most likely the cause of the failure in discovering a copy of the work. 

We have already remarked that the poems are eighty-four in 
number. It is not our intention to quote any of the twenty-nine 
pieces accessible elsewhere, though we may here observe that the 
majority of these, as published in the Mylius Reading-books, and 
notably the poems entitled Cleatdiness^ The Boy and Snake, the fable 
of The Magpies Nest, the lines entitled Time spent in Dress, the fable 
of The Boy and the Skylark, are deplorably deficient and incorrect in 
text, as will be seen more fully when the entire book comes to be 

The numerous misprints that occur in these poems as they are 
given in the Mylius Reading-books would lead us to suppose that, 
although this selection was probably made with the tacit consent of 
the authors, they exercised no kind of supervision over it, and saw no 
proof-sheets. The frequent omission of lines and stanzas in the 
poems above named, made generally with very little taste or judgment, 
and sometimes to the destruction of sense and metre, points to the 
same conclusion. On the other hand, the poem which in the original 
book is somewhat baldly entitled The Ride, is, in the Mylius selection, 
more fully and fittingly re-christ'ened The First Sight of Green Fields, 
and to The Magpies Nest, shorn of its second title and of one of its 
stanzas, a note is added which is not to be found in " Poetry for 
Children." Whether these are interpolations of Mylius, or afterthoughts 

* A^. 6* Q. 3rd S. xii. (July 27, 1867), p. ^2. 

Discovery of Lamb's " Poetry for Children'' 1 1 7 

of the original authors, will probably remain an insoluble enigma to 
the end of time.^ 

We proceed to the consideration of the residuum of fifty-five pieces 
now first brought to light The " number of subjects," on which 
Lamb plumes himself in his letter to Coleridge above quoted, will be 
best shown by quoting the titles of these, which are as follows : — 
The Reaper^ s Chtldy The Butterfly, Choosing a Name, Crumbs to the 
Birds, Discontent and Quarrelling, Repentance and Reconciliation, 
Neatness in Appareiy The New-bom Infant, Motes in the Sunbeams^ 
The First of April, The Lame Brother, The Text, The End of May, 
The Duty of a Brother, Wasps in a Garden, What is Fancy ? Anger, 
Blindness, The Mimic Harlequin, The Reproof, The Two Bees, The 
Journey from School and to School, The Orange, The Young Letter- 
Writer, " Suffer little Children, and forbid them not to come unto Me** 
The Men and Women and the Monkeys : a Fable, Love, Death^ and 
Reputation: a Fable, The Sparrow and the Hen, Which is the 
Favourite 1 Choosing a Profession, Weeding, Parental Recollections, 
The Offer, Nurse Green, Good Temper, Moderation in Diet, Incorrect 
Speaking, Charity, My Birthday, The Confidant, Thoughtless Cruelty, 
Eyes, Penny 'pieces. The Force of Habit, Clock Striking, Why not do it, 
sir, to-day ? Home Delights, The Dessert, To a Young Lady on being 
too fond of Music, The Fairy, Conquest of Prejudice, The Great Grand- 
father, The Spartan Boy, On a Picture of the Finding of Moses by 
Pharaoh* s Daughter, David. 

The task of separating the poems of Charles from those of Mary 
Lamb will not, perhaps, prove so difficult as it at first appears. 
Although no indication whatever of separate authorship is given in 
the volumes themselves, we have our independent knowledge of the 
mind, work, and individual character of each. We have, moreover. 
Lamb's distinct assurance in his letter to Manning : " Mine are but 
one-third in quantity of the whole." We have the three poems which 
he afterwards republished as his own, and the three which he repub- 
lished or quoted ^ as his sister's, affording an absolute certainty as to 
the authorship of the six pieces in question, and supplying valuable 
criteria for the rightful attribution of the others, just as in the joint 

' It should be mentioned that the two little volumes o{ Poetry for Children are 
themselves among the most correctly-printed of books I have ever seen. Allowing 
for certain quaintnesses of spelling then in vogue, and a kind of pepper-box 
sprinkling of supererogatory commas, due doubtless to the excessive generosity of 
the compositor, an actual misprint is scarcely to be found from beginning to end. 

• The last line of the poem, entitled The First Tooth, is quoted in Elia's 
Popular Fallacies (New Monthly Magazine, 1826) ; ''It ha^ )>een prettily sstid 
|b»t 'a bahe is fed with Inflk and pn^is^.' '' 

1 1 8 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

schoolfioy publication, now half a century old, of Alfred and Charles 
Tennyson,^ similar evidence for separating the poems of one brother 
from those of the other is afforded by the prize poem of TinAudoo^ 
and the volume of " Poems, chiefly Lyrical," which Alfred Tennyson 
published in 1829 and 1830, and by the little volume of Sonnets and 
miscellaneous pieces which Charles Tennyson published with his own 
name at Cambridge in 1830. 

Thret successive works, as I have elsewhere'remarked— the "Tales 
from Shakespeare," " Mrs. Leicester's School" and the "Poetry for 
Children" — to all of which Mary Lamb contributed the larger, if not, 
as her brother always affectionately insisted, the better part — entitle 
her to no mean rank in that class of literature which appeals more 
especially to younger readers. The two earlier grose works won their 
way at once to popularity; and the "Poetry for Children," which 
circumstances alone have hitherto prevented from becoming better 
known, ranks, even at its lowest, infinitely higher both in poetical 
merit and moral and intellectual sinew and stamina, than the similar 
writings of Watts, and of the Taylors of Ongar, which have met with 
such world-wide acceptance. The morality, though always apparent, 
is broader and freer — more wholesome and less obtrusive. 

The tragical domestic history of the Lambs had compelled them 
to live together unmarried, " an old bachelor and an old maid," as 
Lamb writes to Coleridge. But this isolated existence produced 
just that effect upon them that it does upon those who have to suffer 
the bitter disappointments of unrealized hope, the pangs of despised 
love, the disillusion of early romance, and who are prone to avoid 
the insincerities of fashionable society, and to seek relief and refuge 
in the innocence of childhood and the freshness of early feelings, to 
which they return with a zest that the experience of life has rather 
heightened than destroyed. We proceed, however, to the more 
minute examination of the newly-discovered pieces. 

One little poem of three stanzas only, entitled Parental Recol- 
Uctionsy we have no hesitation in at once assigning to Charles Lamb, 
from internal evidence: — 

A child's a pla3rthing for an hour ; 

Its pretty tricks we try 
For that or for a longer space ; 

Then tire, and lay it by. 

But I knew one, that to itself 

AU seasons could control ; 
That would have mock'd the sense of pain 

Out of a grieved soul. 

* /*oems by Tiw Brothers, Xx>uth : Jackson, 1827. 

Discovery of J^a^ffs^ '[ Po(^ry,forChildrenr \iq 

■.. t •-.'. . ...' J,- «. « ..,■,.■.■■- ••■-<«• 

Thou straggler into loving ann$, 

Voung climber up of knees, 

sr^o- -r. •. When I fbtget thy-tkbusaiid'ways, v ; . 

Then life and all shall cease.* --: • ^ ., - 

It is not often, howevier, that so Kigh a key-note as this is struck 
throughout the two little volumes: the vein is generally either humo- 
rofttsoir -quaintly didactic. One^iece there is of ^eat tenderness, in 
Dvhieh atnother endeavours to dispel from a child's mind tJie horror 
it fsds a;t the sight of death; arid here we find some difficulty in 
deciding whether it be the work of Charles or of Maiy Lamb :— '- 

** Your prayers you hstve said, and you ve wished good night ; 
What cause is there yet keeps my darling awake ? 
This throb in your bosom proclaims somt affright . 
Disturbs your composure. Can innocence quake ? . 

** Why thus do you cling to my neck, and enfold me, 

What fear unimparted your quiet devours ?" 
**0 mother, there's reason— for Susan has tbld me 

A dead body lies in the rooih next i6 ours.^' 

" I know it ; and, butjbr forgetfulness, dear, 

I meant you the coffin this day should have seen, 
And read me the inscription and told me the year 
And day of the death of your poor old Nurse Green." 

** O not for the wealth of the wodd would I enter 
A chamber wherein a dead body lay hid. 
Lest somebody bolder than I am should? venture 
To go near the coffin and lift up the lid." 

'* And should they do so and the coffin uncover. 
The corpse underneath it would be no ill sight ; 
Hits frame^ when its animal functions are </ver^ 
Has nothing of horror the Irving to fright, 

**To start at the dead is preposterous error, 

To shrink from a foe that can never contest ; 

Shall that which is motionless move thee to terror, 

Or than become restless ^ cause they are at rest ? 

**To think harm of her our good feelings forbid us 
By whom when a babe 3rpu were dandled and fed ; 
Who living so man j good offices did us, 

I ne'er can persuade me would hurt us when dead. 

*' But if no endeavour your terrors can smother. 
If vainly against apprehension you strive,; 
C^m^, bury your fears in the arms of your mother; 
.... Jjfy darlings cling close to me, I am alvve.^^^ 

>.VoL il.p. 26. » Vol. u. pp. 36-37. 

1 20 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

The poem entitled Incorrect Speaking (and indeed the whole class 

of directly didactic poems), I am inclined to attribute to Mary Lamb. 

It opens thus; — 

Incorrectness in your speech 
Carefully avoid, my Anna ; — 

for I cannot believe that so fastidious a writer as Charles Lamb 
would, even in a book for children, have made that name rhyme 
(not to " manna," but) to " manner," as I am sorry to say the writer of 
the poem does : — 

Study weU the sense of each 

Sentence, lest in any manner 
It misrepresent the truth ; 
Veracity's the charm of youth." * 

Very pretty and graceful — be it the work of brother or sister — is 
the following, entitled 

The Dessert. 

With the apples and the plums 

Little Carolina comes. 

At the time of the dessert she . 

Comes and drops her last hew curtsy ; 

Graceful curtsy, practised o'er 

In the nursery before. 

What shall we compare her to ? 

The dessert itself will do. 

Like preserves she's kept with care, 

Like blancVd almonds she is lair. 

Soil as down on peach her hair, 

And so soft, so smooth is each 

Pretty cheek as that same peach, 

Yet more like in hue to cherries ; 

Then her lips, the sweet strawberries, 

Caroline herself shall try them 

If they are not like when nigh them ; 

Her bright eyes are black as sloes. 

But I think we've none of those 

Common fruit here— and her chin 

From a round point does begin, 

Like the small end of a pear ; 

Whiter drapery she does wear 

Than the frost on cake ; and sweeter 

Than the cake itself, and neater, 

Though bedeck'd with emblems fine, 

Is our little Caroline.' 

The poem entitled David in the Cave of Adullam was, as we 
have seen, reprinted by Lamb as his sister's. To her also doubtless 

* Vol. i p. 43. « Vol. ii. pp. 73-74- 

Disccvety of Lamb's " Poetry for Children'' 121 

belong a lengthier piece giving the story of David and Goliath, 
and another On a. Picture of the Finding of Moses by Pharaoh's 

The following piece I should unhesitatingly attribute to Charles 
Lamby from its sunilarity to a later acknowledged copy of verses by 
him on Christian names: — 

Choosing a Name. 

I have got a new -bom sister; 
I was nigh the first that kissed her. 
When the nursing woman brought her 
To Papa, his infant daughter, 
How Papa's dear eyes did glisten ! 
She will shortly be to christen: 
And Papa has made the offer 
I shall have the naming of her. 

Now I wonder what would please her, 
Charlotte, Julia, or Louisa. 
Ann and Mary, they^re too common ; 
Joan's too formal for a woman ; 
Jane's a prettier name beside ; 
But we had a Jane that died. 
JTuy would say, if Utvos Rebecca, 
Thai she was a little Quaker, 
Edith's pretty, but that looks 
Better in old English books ; 
Ellen's left off long ago ; 
Blanche is out of fashion now. 
None that I have named as yet 
Are so good as Margaret 
Emily is neat and fine. 
What do you think of Caroline ? 
How I'm puzzled and perplext 
What to choose or think of next ! 
I am in a little fever. 
Lest the name that I shall give her 
Should disgrace her or defame her, 
I will leave Papa to name her. * 

That the following, entitled Clock Striking, is also by Charles 
Lamb, a curious parallel rhyme in his acknowledged poem of 
Hester seems to leave little doubt : — 

Did I hear the church-clock a few minutes ago, 
I was ask'd, and I answer'd, I hardly did know, 

But I thought that I heard it strike three. 
Said my friend then, ** The blessings we always possess 
We know not the want of, and prize them the less \ 

The church-clock was no new sound to thee, 

» Vol. i. pp. J2-13, 

122 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

<' A young woman, afflicted with deafness- a yeaT« 
By that sound you scarce heard, first perceived she could hear; 

I was near her, and saw the girl start 
With such exquisite wonder ^ such feelings of pride ^ 
A happiness almost to terror dlliedf * *' 

She shew'd flie sound went to her heart" * . 

Its quaint humour also induces us to claim for Charles Lamb 
another piece, entitled T/ie Sparrow and the Jfen^ in which the 
former complains of having to seek its own food, while the latter is so 
carefully provided for. The old Hen's answer to the Sparrow's 
argument is very characteristic: — 

*' Have you e*er leam'd to read?** said the Hen to the Sparrow, 

** No, Madam," he answered, " I can't say I have." 
** Then that is the reason your sight is so narrow," 
The old Hen replied, with a look very grftve. 

*^ Mrs. Glasse in a Treatise — I wish you could read — 

Our importance lias shown^ and has. proved to us why 
Man shields us and feeds us: of us he has need 
Ev'n before we are bom, even after we die." • 

The most important, however, of Ghaiies Lamb's contributions 
to these volumes, and by far the longest piecein the whole collection, 
is his delightful story of " The Three Friends," which is already well 
known, as he reprinted and acknowledged it in his collected Works. 

The long-lost "Poetry for Children" is thett at length discovered, 
and will doubtless soon be placed beyond the chance of future loss. 
But another work of Charles Lamb's yet remains to be found. In the 
list of " New Books for Children, published by M. J. Godwin, at 
the Juvenile Library, No. 41 Skinner Street" already quoted, the 
following publication is advertised on p. 12:— 

** Prince Dorus; or, Flattery put out of Countenance:" a Poem. With nine 
elegant engravings. 2s. 6d. coloured, or ix. 6d. plain. 

The late Mr. Crabb Robinson records ; m his " Diary," under 
date May 15, 1811 : "A very pleasant call on Charles and Mary 
Lamb. Read his version of Prince Dorus, the long-nosed king." * 

And he adds in a note : — "This is ribt in hi6 collected Works, 
and, as well as two volumes of * Poems for' Children,* is likety to be 
lost." We have found the " Poetry for Children ": who will find 
" Prmce Dorus " ? j^^ herne shepherd. 

' Compare the poem of Hester — 

** if 'twas nampridef 

It was a joy to that aUudJ** 
2 Vol. ii. p. 67. » Vol il p. 15. 

* Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, Lond. ; 
1869. VoL i. p. 329. 



IN spite of Mr. Gladstone's avowal, " that the difficulties of spelling 
are enough to drive the learner mad ; " in spite of Mr. Lowe's 
assertion, that since there are thirty-nine sounds in the English lan- 
guage, and but twentyrfour letters, fifteen more letters should be 
added, so that each letter should rejMresent one sound ; and in spite 
of the more or less open adhesion of such men as Professor Max 
Miiller,. Professor Sayce, Sir Charles Reed, the Chairman of the 
School Board for London, and Dr. Abbott, of the City of London 
School, the spelling reformers are not likely to succeed just yet in 
obtaining a Royal Commission to inquire into the subject of spelling 
reform. So far the attempts which haye been made to introduce a 
system of phonetic spelling have done nothing to stir the public, and 
have created in literary circles no feeling stronger than amusement. 
So long as the reformers find fault with the present system they will 
secure a certain amount of support from men of restless habits and 
optimistic views. The moment, however, the ridicule that will attach 
to any new scheme of spelling has been encountered, the entire army 
will melt away, and the i^^^ visionaries who happen to be in accord 
will be left to inquire, like Augustus, after their legions. Ridicule is 
a dangerous weapon when the cause against which it is directed is 
strong and active ; in the case of a mere whimsey it is fatal. The 
difficulties the child experiences in learning to spell are greatly over- 
rated. They are in ordinary cases a stimulus rather than a source of 
madness, as Mr. Gladstone seems to think. If one thing could be 
conceived more likely than another to bring thoughts or fears of 
madness to the student, it would be the sight of the language of 
Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton, and Swift, written in such characters as 
are affected by Mr. Pitman and his rivals. Leave well alone,!says an 
old English proverb. The " well " that should be left alone includes 
the " well of English undefyled '^ of Dan Chaucer and his successors. 

A CERTAIN well-known publishing firm in England is accus- 
tomed to write cheques to its authors (I suppose for con- 
venience of reference) payable to the work, instead of the writer. 

1 24 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

On one occasion they wrote, " Pay * The Disgrace to the Household/ 
or Bearer, &c., &c." The banker's clerk smiled sardonically on the 
poor novelist when this cheque was presented. A year after, they 
bought another work of the same writer, called " Dead and Gone." 
Again he presented the cheque in person. " Pay * Dead and Gone,' or 
Bearer," read the clerk, aloud. "Well, sir, it is fortunate that this k not 
payable to * order,* or it would have had to be endorsed by your 
executors." The novelist, who is sensitive to ridicule, now disposes 
of his works to another firm. 

A COMPLETE glut of discoveries results from the researches 
that have been conducted in classical regions. At the time 
when I write, the reported recovery of both arms of the Venus of 
Milo wants confirmation, one statement being to the effect that nothing 
has been obtained except a hand holding a disc or looking-glass, and a 
second amounting to an absolute contradiction of the whole story. A 
statuary group, representing a woman and a child, has, however, been 
brought to light at Milos, and various figures have been disentombed 
at Olympia and elsewhere. At Dodona two temples and a sacred 
grove, containing many votive offerings, have been opened out, and 
slabs of lead, with questions to the oracles and the answers given 
scratched upon them, have been found. Frenchmen and Germans 
have been the principal agents in recent explorations. As the Greeks 
do not like to be left entirely behind, I am not surprised to hear that 
Professor Koumonouthes, the secretary of the Archaeological Society 
of Athens, announces that he has found the altar mentioned by 
Thucydides as having been erected by Pisistratus the son of Hippias 
and grandson of the tyrant. This discovery, if accepted, will set at 
rest the question concerning the site of the temple of the Pythian 
Apollo, over which the topographers of Athens have quarrelled so 
bitterly and so long ; it seems almost a pity to deprive their successors 
of the amusement it has afforded. 

IN the Royal Academy this year is an admired illustration of a 
somewhat ancient event, in which a waste of waters, a dove, 
and a piece of timber are the principal features. I overheard this 
remark upon it by a lady bystander: " How I dislike these perplexing 
pictures, in which one never knows what is intended ! A pigeon in a 
tree by the seaside suggests absolutely nothing." 

IMPORTANT results to agriculture may be hoped from the close 
attention which is now bestowed upon the lowest perceptible 
forms of insect Jifip. Thp discourse pf the ^ey. W. P. Dfdlingei" 

Table-Talk. 125 

upon monads) delivered before the Royal Institutioil, seems wholly 
to dispose of those theories of spontaneous generation with which Pro- 
fessor Tyndall has also recently been dealing. Another paper, read by 
Mr. Andrew Murray before a conference assembled at the Society of 
Arts, dealt with the question of getting rid of insects injurious to 
agricultiu'e. The remedy Mr. Murray recommended was rotation of 
crops. Insects which feed upon one class of crops cannot ordinarily 
live upon another, and if a crop of barley is substituted for one of 
wheat, the wheat insects, which are mostly annuals, are likely to be 
starved out of existence. This is comforting so far as it goes. It is 
certainly true that the ravages of insects are most deadly where the 
same crop is continually grown. Still, no certain cure can, I fancy, 
be hoped for so long as the destruction of birds is permitted at the 
rate at which it is atpresent conducted. In temperate climates a fair 
balance of life is generally maintained, and where there is suffering 
from excess of one form of life it will generally be found that the 
scheme of Natiure has been upset by human liking for destruction. 
A tax upon guns that would take them out of the hands of mere idlers 
would do something to preserve our crops from the ravages to which 
they are now subject. 

AT the " Rag and Famish " Club it is now quite alarming for a 
peaceful man to dine, so strong are the " military hysterics," 
and with such ardour is it proclaimed that war is inevitable. The 
veterans sniflf the battle (by no means from afar) and cry " Ha ! ha!" 
like the war horse, and even (when contradicted) stamp. The other 
day a certain personage was discussed at dinner who has published a 
work on Russia (and against her), and is said to have received a 
decoration from the Porte for his good services, and, what is much 
rarer from that quarter, a round sum in coin. 

A guest ventured to observe that this was taking a commercial 
course in the matter, which, considering the position in the army of 
the gentleman in question, was a little infra dig. The remark was 
received with general disapprobation ; but one young fellow admitted 
that the man's line was certainly commercial, " because, you see, he 
travels for the House of Osman, and takes money and orders J^ 

I believe that wit, and especially wit on the wrong side, is not 
looked upon with favour at the War Office, or else I should mention 
the speaker's name in this dispatch. 

ALREADY the scare concerning the torpedo is beginning to pass 
away, and the position that this latest application of science to 

1 26 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

warfare is likely to hold in future combats may be conjectured. In 
a few years' time it will probably have been relegated to that limbo 
wherein the warlike inventions of 'antiquity, from the Wooden Horse 
of Homer, to the ballista and the catapult, have rested for centu- 
ries, and to which we have since despatched a hundred engines, 
once terrible enough in their ivay, from Greek fire to the catamaran. 
It is, no doubt, sufficiently alarming to hear of the fish torpedo, with 
a weight of thirty-five pounds, an engine of forty-horse power, and 
an explosive head, against the impact of which nothing of human 
make can stand, and to be told that the projectile can be ** launched 
with such certainty that, by a moderate exercise of skill, it is impos- 
sible to miss an ironclad at 1,000 yiirds, whether she be lying at her 
moorings, of moving at the rate of ten or twelve knots an hcmn"' 
Things scarcely less formidable were, however, told us concerning the 
mitrailleuse, and already its use is discontinued. It is easy for 
science to find means to ward off during the night diese dangerous 
assailants, and in the day-time there will be few foolhardy enough to 
venture forth with them. Their use in protecting a harbour is that of a 
mine in retarding an attack on a fortress. When first employed, this 
measure struck terror into the minds of assailants, who suspected the 
earth of being honeycombed beneath them, and anticipated at every 
moment being blown into the air. The defence against the mine 
was the countermine, and so it will probably prove in the present 
instance. When ships of war seek to enter a hostile port they will 
themselves despatch torpedoes in order to explode all that may 
previously have been laid down. 

A CERTAIN aged peer, Lord N., who will not wear a wig, is yet 
very solicitous to be considered in the prime of life, and 
brings the few brown hairs that he yet possesses into as great promi- 
nence as possible. The other day, his friend A., at the club, observed 
to him in all simplicity, upon perceiving certain indications upon his 
vest and coat collar, " Why, N., lyou have been sitting behind your greys 
this morning." "No, sir, I have Hot. I — I — I have been having 
my hair cut." This atrocity took place in the whist room, in the 
presence of several persons, all of whom have a sympathy for N., and 
indeed for any peer. One of them took prompt occasion to observe, 
on A.'s withdrawal from the table after having lost three tricks by a 
renounce (which was generally looked upon as a judgment), that the 
man had no heart. " And a deuced good thing too," observed his 
lordship; " there is at least one suit in which he cannot revoke." 

' .THx^U'Talk. 127 

ACCORDING to the view of some alarmists, the position of our 
ships in front of that new enemy the torpedo is like that of woman 
in presence of masculine enterprise, as described by ParoUes, in his not 
too edifying cotivefsatioii with Helena; Woman's defence, the latter 
acknowledges, ** is weak,'' and she demands of Parolles to " unfold to 
us some warlike resistaiice." To -which this loquacious follower of 
Bertram replies : — •* There is none : man, sitting down before you, 
will undermine you, and blow you up." Here, surely, is further proof 
for the Shakespeareolators, who find in Puck's speeches a forecast 
of the telegraph, that Shakespeare anticipated most subsequent 

IN this obstinate country, notwithstanding Mr. Gladstone's eloquent 
denunciations of everything from Constantinople, Turkish baths 
still exist. Persons who have a great deal of time and a great deal 
of money on hand, and who do not object to be parboiled, find 
them, I understand, very agreeable. Everything is provided in these 
establishments, extending even to a special channel for the indulgence 
of a beneficent spirit. A box is placed at our principal Hummums, 
or Hamaum, for donations for ' the shampooer,' or sham poor (these 
Turkish names are too much for me). But this admirable cure for 
sciatica, rheumatism, lumbago (see advertisements) is not, of course, to 
be thought of except by persons of considerable pecuniary means. A 
man, therefore, has surely deserved well of his country who shall have 
discovered, or at least made public, a cheap substitute for this remedy; 
and I am that man. I was travelling through Lancashire last week in a 
railway carriage, in which I had the honour to escort the Lady Violet 
Plantagenet with her lapdog, Cora, when one of the aborigines entered it. 
He was a big, rough fellow, who in any other county you would have 
thought had made a mistake in getting into a first-class compartment ; 
but he had a mill worth ten thousand a year. He entered into conver- 
sation not only with me (which I could forgive), but with the Lady 
Violet, who, I am afraid, was rather amused with him. He observed 
that she was looking white — she is called " The Lily of Belgravia " — 
and she acknowledged that she suffered from neuralgia. 

" Nobody should do that, ma'am," observed he, " for there is a 
sovereign remedy for it." 

" Indeed ! " said she, with a faint, sweet smile. " I should like to 
know what it is." 

" It is dargile." 

She took out a lovely set of ivory tablets, and said, " How do 
you spell it?" She thought it was a patent medicine. 

128 The Gentlernatis MagazinL 

" 1 said dargile. Dog, darg, o i 1, ile, dargile." 

" Good Heavens 1" cried I, " dog-oil ? " 

** Yes, it never fails. Take a darg, like that " (he pointed to Conii 
a King Charles's spaniel), " and bile him down. Then apply the ile so 
obtained externally." 

Lady Violet was silent I do not even now know what she 
thought, for she never revealed it to me. I still share this important 
secret with her ladyship, and whenever Cora waddles into the room, 
we exchange a significant smile. 

IT is from one point of view at least a waste of time for science to 
proceed developing the offensive power of explosives and the 
capacity for resistance of armour, seeing that she is already in posses- 
sion of means that will, when used, put guns and torpedoes to open 
shame. It is no secret that one of our most eminent men of science 
is in possession of a weapon — I will so call it to avoid any indication 
of its nature — by aid of which he can annihilate an entire army in 
the course of a few minutes, disposing of it as completely and as 
easily as the avenging angel disposed of the hosts of Sennacherib. 
Should he choose to lend the Turks the knowledge he possesses, 
Russian advance towards the Bosphorus would meet with a speedy 
and final check. It would be ill, however, for the peace of 
Christendom if Islam got undisputed possession of a secret of this 
importance, seeing that she, instead of Russia, might begin to indulge 
in dreams of universal conquest If, accordingly, our discoverer 
wishes to treat the Russians as the corpus vile that is reser\'ed for 
experiments, it is to be hoped he will undertake himself the conduct 
of affairs, and will keep to himself what is secret in his invention. I 
wonder if the knowledge that such a fearful means of destruction 
was possessed by men would put an end to war. The mention of 
an agent like, this is likely to move derision in certain quarters. I 
know, however, enough about it to believe in the possibility of using it 
with more terrible results than have yet been seen or dreamed of in 




August 1877. 



Chapter XXII. 


MINOLA heard no word from Luqr that night about Heron. 
Lucy seemed to avoid all speech on any subject that had 
to do with the midnight walk in the park. 

The next day brought Mr. Blanchet, very proud of having been 
sent for, and for the present, at least, filled with the novelty of a 
political contest As Money had predicted, any objection which Heron 
might have to Blanchet gave way and vanished for the time, when 
Blanchet became in a manner a guest of his. But the poems which 
Blanchet was to contribute to the contest did not prove a great 
success. They were a litde difficult to understand. When they 
were supposed to rouse the souls of Keeton electors on the subject 
of England's honour and duties, they were involved in such fantasy 
of thought and expression, that they would have had to be published 
with a glossary if they were to illuminate by a spark of meaning the 
mind of the acutest voter in the borough. Blanchet made, however, 
rather a picturesque figure on the platforms of meetings, and was 
uftful as an attendant on the two young women when Money and 
Heron had to be busy elsewhere ; and Mr. Money liked, for elec- 
tioneering effect, the appearance of a large suite. Minola never saw 
the poet except before the general company. He had consented tp 
come to Keeton solely because he thought it would give him more 
than one opportunity of speaking a word or two to her in private ; 
and no such chance seemed ever likely to present itself there. 
Minola was utterly unconscious of his wish or of its purpose. She 

VOL. CCXU. NO. 1760. K 

1 30 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

did not know that when he was invited to Keeton he went to his 
sister, and told her that the happy chance had come at last ; and 
that she had kissed him with tears in her eyes, and prayed for his 
success. Minola was as friendly with him as possible — ^far more so 
than she seemed to be with Heron, for example ; but he got no 
such chance of trying his fortune as his sister and he had believed 
to be coming. 

Is there often a political election with such cross-purposes going 
on in the midst of it ? It would almost seem as if all the persons 
more directly concerned were either the planners or the objects of 
some little side game of love. We know what thoughts and hopes 
were formed on Victor Heron's account by poor Lucy and her 
father ; and Minola soon learned that the Conservative candidate 
had still a purpose at his heart which no lawful retuming-officer 
could gratify. Add to this, to go no further for the present, the 
purpose which we know that Mr. Blanchet had in consenting to try 
the part of Poet Laureate to the Liberal candidate, and we shall see 
that the game was a little complex which all these were playing. 

Minola had made a grave mistake in judging the character of her 
discarded lover. She thought him a hypocrite, and he was not ; 
she thought his love for her was all a sham, and it was not. He was 
a slow, formal man ; formal in everything — in his morals as well as in 
his manners. For him the world's standard was all. He could not 
lift his mind above the level of the opinion of respectable people. 
What they said became the law of life to him. What they called 
proper he believed to be proper ; what they condemned became in 
his eyes only deserving of condemnation. But he was quite sincere 
in this. What he came by this process to regard as wrong he would 
not have done himself — except imder such circumstances of temptation 
or provocation as may ordinarily be held to excuse our human nature. 

His love for Minola was very strong. It was the one genuine 
passion of his life. He had made up his mind that he would 
succeed in life, that he would become a person of importance in 
London, and that he would marry Minola Grey. Nor did her 
refusal much discourage him. After the first pang was over, he said 
to himself that all would come right yet ; that at least she did not 
love anyone else, and that the world would come to him who waited, 
as he had known it to come to himself in other ways when he 
waited before. He had resolved to represent Keeton in the House 
of Commons, and now that resolve seemed to have nearly worked 
out its purpose. But the night when, passing under Minola's windows, 
he saw Victor Heron, produced a terrible reaction within him. He 

Miss Misanthrope. 131 

felt satisfied that Heron must be in love with her, and he thought 
with agony that such a lover was very likely indeed to fascinate 
such a girl. He began to pay repeated visits to London in a half 
secret way, and to watch the movements of Minola, and to try to 
find out all he could about Victor and his friends. The thought of 
having Heron for his rival in both ways, in love and in ambition, was 
almost more than he could bear. There seemed something ominous, 
fateful in it. He became filled with a kind of superstitious feeling 
that if he lost the election he must lose all. He hated Heron with 
a passion that sometimes surprised himself. There appeared to him 
to be something wicked in this young man coming from the other 
side of the earth to cross him in his two great desires. His slow, 
formal nature worked itself up into dense consistency of hate. The 
election contest became a relief to him. It was like meeting his 
rival in battle. The fierce joy was heightened when Minola came to 
Keeton. To win under such conditions would be like killing his 
rival under her very eyes. 

It was when at the very height of his hope, and when the anti- 
cipation of revenge was turning our formal moralist into a sort of 
moral Berserker, that a piece of news reached his ears which well- 
nigh changed his purpose. He was told that Victor Heron was to 
marry Mr. Money's daughter, and that that was the reason why 
Money took such interest in the contest. He was assured of this 
on what seemed to him good authority. In fact, the report hardly 
needed any authority to confirm it in his mind. What could be more 
probable? What could more satisfactorily explain everything? 
What other purpose could a man like Money have in taking all that 
trouble about a stranger like Heron ? Mr. Sheppard trembled to 
think of the mistake he had nearly made. 

So, then, it was not certain that Minola was lost to him, after all ? 
A moment before, he was only tliinking of revenge for an irreparable 
injury. Now hope sprung up again. At the bottom of Sheppard's 
nature was a very large reserve of that self-confidence or self-conceit 
which had carried him so far on his way to success ; and he was 
easily roused to hope again in his chances of conquering Minola's 
objection to him. 

He became suddenly filled with an idea which, in all the thick and 
heat of his preparations for the contest, he determined to put to 
proof. By this time it should be said that he had littie doubt of how 
the struggle would go if it were left to be a duel between him and 
Heron. What it cost him to take the step he is now taking will be 
better appreciated if this conviction of his is kept in mind. 


132 The Genileman's Magazitte. 

Mr. Sheppard dressed one afternoon with even more than his 
usual care, but in style a little diflferent from that which he com- 
monly adopted. He had got a vague idea that his usual manner of 
dressing was rather too formal to please a girl like Minola, and that it 
was wanting in picturesqueness and in artistic eflfect. He had 
studied many poems and works of art lately, with much pain and 
patience, and tried to qualify himself for an understanding of those 
schools and theories of art which, as they were said to be new, and 
were generally out of Kecton's range, he assumed to be those of the 
London circles which Minola was reported to frequent. He got 
himself up in a velvet coat, with a tie of sage-green silk and a bronze 
watch-chain, and a brazen porte-bonheur clasping his wrist He 
looked like a churchwarden masquerading as an actor. Thus 
attired, he set forth to pay a visit to Minola. 

He had met her several times during the settlement of the 
business consequent on the death of Mrs. Saulsbury. He had met 
Mr. Money often, and acted sometimes as the representative in 
business matters of Mr. Saulsbury. He had always demeaned him- 
self on such occasions with a somewhat distant courtesy and respect, 
as if he wished to stand on terms of formal acquaintanceship, and 
nothing more. He was very anxious to get once more on such terms 
with Minola as would allow him to see her and speak with her now 
and then, without her being always on her guard against love-making. 
It seemed clear to him that he had better retire for a while from his 
former position, and try to take the attitude of one who, having been 
refused, has finally accepted the refusal. His manner did in fact 
impose upon Minola. Never having believed in the reality of his 
love, she found no difficulty in believing that he had easily reconciled 
himself to disappointment, and that he had, perhaps, his eyes turned 
somewhere else already. Whenever they did meet they were friendly, 
and Minola saw no great necessity for avoiding him, except such as 
might seem to be imposed upon her by the fact that her friends were 
on one side of the political contest, while he was on the other. Mr. 
Sheppard even called to see her once or twice about some of the 
affairs of Mr. Saulsbury, and saw her alone, and said no word that 
did not relate to matters of business. It was a great relief to Minola 
to see him and not Mr. Saulsbury, and she was even frank enough to 
tell him so. He only said, with a grave smile, that he feared she 
" really never had done justice, never had done quite justice," to the 
motives and the character of Mr. Saulsbury. But he admitted that 
Mr. Saulsbury*s austere manners were a little against him. 

No surprise, therefore, was created in the mind of any of our friends 

Miss Misanthrope. 133 

when dne morning Mr. Sheppard's card was brought to Minola, and 
she was told that he wished to speak a few words with her. 

Mr. Money had never heard anything about Sheppard's former 
attentions to Minola. He was inclined to think Sheppard a very good 
fellow for taking any trouble about Minola's affairs at a time when 
he had so much of his own to occupy him. 

So Minola received Mr. Sheppard in one of the sitting-rooms of 
the hotel, and was not displeased to see him. She even asked if he 
would not like to see Mr. Money. This was after he had talked to 
her about the particular object of his coming — something relating to 
what seemed in her mind the interminable arrangements about the 
house property which had fallen to her share. 

" I should have no objection to see Mr. Money, Miss Grey — 
none whatever ; I hope we may be good friends, although Providence 
has decreed that we should be on opposite sides of this political 
controversy. But I am not sure whether under the circumstances it 
would be agreeable to all parties if I were to see Mr. Heron, or 
whether, not being on such terms with him, I ought to call on his 
friend. These are points. Miss Grey, on which you, as a lady, might 
not like to decide." 

" Oh, I couldn't think of deciding ! ^ Minola said hastily, for she 
had made her suggestion in obedience to a sudden impulse, and was 
not sure that she had not done something wrong ; " I don't know 
anything about it, and perhaps I ought not to have said anything 
at all." 

** Your suggestion. Miss Grey, was only in accordance with all 
the impulses of your generous nature." Mr. Sheppard still loved as 
much as ever his long and formal sentences. Minola could not help 
wondering how the House of Commons would like such a style, if 
Mr. Sheppard ever got a chance of displaying it there. 

** You do not, I hope," he continued, " disapprove of my am- 
bition to distinguish myself in political life ? You know that I have 
for years cherished such an ambition ; that hope still remains to me. 
It is not, surely, an illegitimate or unreasonable hope ? " 

" Oh, no, Mr. Sheppard, far from it ; I am sure that I, like all 
your friends, shall be very glad to hear that you have been successful 
in your ambition — I think it ought to be the ambition of every man 
who has any talents." 

" Thank you, Miss Grey. You do not, I observe, wish me suc- 
cess in this particular contest. That, I suppose, would be too much 
for me to expect ? " 

Minola only shook her head. 

1 34 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" I am afraid I shall only grieve you in this then," he said, drop- 
ping his eyes, " for I am certain to win, Miss Grey." 

Minola thought of her unholy compact, and wished he would talk 
of something else, or, better still, go away. 

" I am sorry you can't both win," she said good-humouredly, 
" then we could all be pleased, and we might say all we liked without 
fear of seeming unfriendly to one or the other." She could not help 
feeling that this speech was a little like one of Mr. Sheppard's own. 

" Is it true," Mr. Sheppard asked abruptly, " what people say 
in Keeton — this about Mr. Heron and Miss Money ? " 

" I don't know much about the gossip of Keeton, Mr. Sheppard, 
and it would not have much interest for me — I don't like Keeton." 

" It is not, perhaps, mere gossip. They say that Mr. Heron is to 
be married to Mr. Money's daughter ; that, they say, is the reason 
why we in Keeton are favoured with the personal interference of Mr. 
Money in our local affairs." 

Minola rose, and seemed as if she were resolved that the conver- 
sation must end there. 

" I can't tell you anything about that, Mr. Sheppard ; even if I 
knew anything, which I don't, I could hardly be expected to talk 
about it. It does not concern you or me much, I suppose." 

" It concerns me greatly," he said warmly. " Of course it concerns 
me that a stranger should come down here to Keeton interfering in 
oiu: affairs, and making discord and confusion where we are all inclined 
to harmony. But I tell you this. Miss Grey, and you may tell your 
friends so, if you like — they haven't a chance here, except through you." 

Minola was amazed, and could not help looking up with an 
expression of curiosity. Was this to be another offer to put the 
decision of the contest in her hands ? 

" Yes," he went on, as if he had understood her thought, " it 
shall be in your hands if you wish it. I am very ambitious of repre- 
senting my native town in Parliament ; but I have an ambition twenty 
times stronger than that, and an older ambition too. If you wish to 
see your friends succeed in this affair, declare your wish, and I will 
withdraw to please you. I can find a chance somewhere else ; I am 
not likely to fail in anything I set my heart upon ; and no other man 
but myself could carry this borough in the duke's interest at such a 
time as this. I can carry it, and if we two stand alone — Mr. Heron 
and I — I am safe to carry it ; but if you only say the word, I will 
give up the place this moment. Think of it, Miss Grey — do give it a 
moment of thought. I don't want to bind you to anything ; I don't 
put any condition ; I only ask you to let me do this for you" 

Miss Misanthrope. 135 

His eyes were fiiU of eagerness, and his manner had almost lost 
its formalism. He did not seem to her the man she had ever known 
before. She felt something like respect for him. 

" I could not ask you to do anything of the kind for me, Mr. 
Sheppard," she said gently. " Why should I ? What right could I 
have to allow you to make any sacrifice for me ? This would be a 
great sacrifice ; and I suppose a thing a man ought not to do for any 
personal feeling." 

" You are quite right ; you had always a clearer understanding 
than women are supposed to have about these things — I remember 
your father saying so often. It would raise an outcry here against me. 
My own party would denounce me ; I should never be looked at by 
any of the duke's people again. You can hardly think what a sacri- 
fice it would be to a man like me. But that's why I offer it I want 
to make some great sacrifice — I do ! — to prove to you that I am sin- 
cere, and that there is nothing I would not do for you. Mind, I am 
not talking of making a bargain. I only say, if you wish me to do 
this, it shall be done. That's all." 

" I don't wish you, Mr. Sheppard ; it would be most unfair and 
wrong of me to do so. It would be a shameful thing of me, I think, 
and I wish you had not thought of it, although I can't help feeling 
that I owe you sOme thanks even for the off'er." 

" Think of it, Miss Grey — ^just think a little more of it. I 
mean it, I assure you ; I mean it all. Let him have the seat if it 
pleases Mr. Money and his daughter, and if you want to please 
them. It will be all your doing, mind ! I should be glad to make 
Mr. Mone/s acquaintance more than I have done; I have no 
ill-will to Mr. Heron; why should I have? I am not in love 
with Miss Money," he added, with rather a sickly smile, that it 
pained Minola to see. 

" I don't need to think it over, Mr. Sheppard ; I know already 
what I ought to say. I could not ask you to do such a thing for me, 
or allow you to do it if I could prevent you. I don't understand 
much about such things, but it seems to me that what you propose 
would be dishonourable to you. No, Mr. Sheppard; go on and fight 
out your fight — why should you not ? We may be friends all of us 
just the same." 

** I want to do this for you — to show you that I am sincere in all 
that I — ^all that I ever said to you." 

Minola felt a colour coming on her cheeks. 

" I can believe you to be sincere without such a proof as that," 
she said. 

136 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

" But do you — do you ? I could be content if I thought you did 
believe that. Tell me that you do believe that." 

" Why should I not believe it ? I have always heard you spoken 
of as a man of the highest character " 

" It isn't that," he said, cutting off her words abruptly \ " it 
is not that I am speaking about. You know it is not that ! I want 
you to tell me whether you believe that I am sincere in loving you." 

" I thought we were never to speak of this again," she said, and 
she was moving almost in alarm towards the door. He quietly stood 
in her way and prevented her. 

" I never said so. I told you I would not give up my hope, and 
I don't mean to give it up. I told you in the park here, the first day 
that I spoke out — I told you that I would not give up, and I will not. 
I love you always ; I did from the time when you were a child, and I 
was not so very much more. I am slow sometimes, but when I get 
a feeling like that it never leaves me. I know you used to laugh at 
me and to make fun of me, but I didn't care much about that, and I 
don't care. It wasn't a very generous thing to do, knowing what you 
did about me. No, no, Minola, you shan't go yet ; indeed you shan't. 
You must hear me now, once for all." 

" If it will be once for all, Mr. Sheppard ; if you will promise me 
that " 

" No, no ! I'll promise nothing. I'll never give up this hope, I tell 
you fairly ; never, never, Minola. Yes, you used to laugh at me, and 
it wasn't generous ; but who expects generosity from a woman ? — and 
in any case it couldn't change the feelings of a man like me to you — 
no, not if you treated me like a dog. You don't know what it is to 
be insanely in love with some one who does not care about you. If 
you did, you could make some allowance for me." 

His whole manner was so strange and so wild that it compelled 
the attention of Minola, and almost made her afraid. She had never 
seen in him anything like this before. Some of his words, too, fell 
touchingly and painfully on her'^ear. Did she, then, not know what it 
was to be foolishly in love without hope of return ? Did she not ? 
and ought not what she knew to make her more tender towards this 
man, who, in so strange a way, seemed to be only in like case with 
herself? She ceased to fear Mr. Sheppard, or to feel her old repug- 
nance for him. Her manner became gentle and even sweet, as she 
spoke to him, and tried to reason with him. 

" If I ever did laugh at you, Mr. Sheppard, it was only as girls 
who know no better will laugh at people whom, if they only did know 
better, they would^ respect. I was wrong and silly, and I ask your 

Miss Misanthrope. 137 

pardon most sincerely. I don't think, Mr. Sheppard, I am likely to 
offend many people by any excess of good spirits for the future." 

"You never offended me," he said eagerly; " or, if you did, it was 
only for the moment, and I didn't care. You were welcome to say 
anything you liked, and to laugh at me as much as you liked ; you 
are still. You may laugh at me, Minola, the moment my back is 
turned, if you like. That won't make me love you the less, or give 
up trying to make you change your mind." 

" Why can't we be friends, Mr. Sheppard ? I could like you 
much, I am sure now, if you would only let me." 

" No, no ! we never can be friends," he said, taking up his hat, 
as if he felt that it would be useless to say any more then. " We 
might be enemies, Minola — although I can't well think of myself as 
your enemy — but I'll never consent to be your friend." 

" We never can be anything else then," Minola said more firmly. 
** I don't mean to marry ; the man does not live in the world," she 
declared with positive energy, " whom I would marry; and I couldn't 
love you, Mr. Sheppard ; and for heaven's sake, I beseech of you, 
let us not have all this to go over again and again. I wonder men 
can degrade themselves in such a manner — it is pitiful; it is shameful !" 
she added. " I would not, if I were a man, so lower myself for all the 
women in the world." 

" There is nothing I would not lower myself to for you — nothing 
I would not do for you. I don't call it lowering myself; I am in love 
with you, and I would do anything to carry my point; and I don't 
give up yet. Don't let it be war to the knife between us two, 

" I want no war, but only peace," she said gently. " I want to be 
your friend, Mr. Sheppard ; I will not be your enemy even if you do 
persecute me." 

He made no further effort to detain her, but opened the door for 
her, and allowed her to go without another word. 

Mr. Sheppard's passion, strong as it was, did not wholly blind 
him. He saw that he had gained an advantage worth trying for. 
He saw that Minola had been impressed for the first time with a cer- 
tain respect for him. This was something to have gained, and he 
went away with a feeling of satisfaction. He had offered to give up 
one great and, as he believed, almost certain chance of gratifying his 
ambition for her sake. He was perfectly sincere in the offer, and he 
would have been wild with pride and delight if she had accepted it. 
Now that she had refused, he felt that the best thing he could do was 
to fight the battle out as she had said herself, and win it. "When I 

: ^ ■. .;c 

( : 




;in«l 1 ■. 
( )i" . 
ically. .r. 


observed wi 




Miss Misanthrope. 1 39 

good-natured to take so much trouble about Mr. Saulsbury's affairs. 
I suspect the truth is that he feels pretty sure of the result." 

" Then you think we have lost ? " Minola asked, dismayed. 

" All except honour, I fear," he answered coolly. " I don't see 
much chance, Miss Grey. The extreme * Rads ' won't have anything 
to do with us, I am pretty sure. Your Keeton friend stands to win 
unless something wonderful happens." 

" But will those extreme people vote for him — for Mr. Sheppard ? " 

" There's no knowing ; you can't count upon these fellows. But 
even if they don't, you see it will come to about the same thing*— at 
least, unless they all hold back in a mass, which is not at all likely. I 
think it will be this way : a few of them will vote for Sheppard, just 
because they hate no one so much as a Liberal who is not strong 
enough for them; and those few will be enough to give your Keeton 
friend the seat." 

Lucy and Minola both looked rather blank at this prospect. 
Minola began almost to wish she had taken Sheppard at his word. 
Suddenly Mr. Money was called away by some political fellow-worker, 
who had a face which was like a title-page to some wonderful volume 
of news. 

In a few moments Mr. Money returned full of excitement, and 
holding a paper in his hand. 

" I say, young ladies," he exclaimed, " here's a new incident for 
you; something sensatibnal, I should say. Here's our friend St. 
Paul coming out himself at the last moment as a candidate for Keeton 
in the Red Republican interest, and denouncing the duke, his brother, 
as if the duke were Cain and he were the ghost of Abel." 

" But can he do that, papa ? " asked Lucy indignantly. 

" Can he do what, Lucelet ? " 

" Become a candidate now, dear, at this time ? " 

" Why, of course he can — what should hinder him ? The nomi- 
nation isn't until the day after to-morrow." 

" Oh, but I call it so unfair !" 

" My dear little Lucelet, what do you think he cares what you call 
it or what anyb9dy else calls it ? " 

" Then does this destroy our chances altogether ? " Lucy plain- 
tively asked. " I always thought he was a treacherous man." 

" Stuff, my good little girl; there are no treacheries in politics and 
elections. But I must think this over a little. I am not by any 
means sure that it may not prove an uncommonly good thing for us, 
by Jove. Where's Heron ? I must get at him at once; and so, young 
ladies, good-bye for the moment." 

140 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

Mn Money hurried away. During the few moments he had 
stopped to talk to the giris several excited heads had been thrust into 
the room, as if entreating him to come away. 

Minola, too, was not by any means sure that this new incident was 
not meant to turn to the account of Victor Heron. This, then, ^'as 
clearly Mr. St. Paul's plot She understood quite enough of the ex- 
planation Mr. Money had been giving to see that if any of the ex- 
treme Radic:al votes could be taken from Sheppard's side the chances 
of Heron would go up at once. She could not doubt that Mr. Sl Paul 
knew this still better. She became full of excitement; and, such is 
the demoralising effect of all manner of competition on human crea- 
tures, that Minola now found herself wishing that the candidate she 
favoured might win by Mr. St. Paul's device or that of anyone else; 
but win somehow. 

Chapter XXHI. 
*' mischief, thou art afoot." 

Never was the aspect of a community more suddenly changed 
than that of Keeton from the moment when St Paul flung himself 
into the contest. Up to that hour a grave decorum had governed 
even its most strenuous efforts. There was plenty of speech-making, 
of crowds, confusion, and noise ; but everything was in decent 
order. There were no personal attacks; and the Liberal candidate 
had not allowed a great scope even to the good spirits and the hu- 
morous powers of all his followers. A somewhat elaborate courtesy had 
been observed between the candidates and their leading supporters 
on botli sides. Mr. Heron had always spoken with high respect of 
Mr. Sheppard, who of course had not failed on his part to do justice 
to the personal character of his opponent In fact, as the orators on 
both sides were in the habit of observing about twenty times a day, it 
was a contest of political principles altogether, and by no means a 
contest of persons. 

All this was now changed. Mr. St Paul had leaped into the arena 
with a vivacity which proved only too contagious. His speeches 
were alternations of vehement personal abuse and broad, audacious 
humour. Throne, altar, and caste seemed alike to be the targets of 
his oratory. He was the reddest of all Red Republicans, He was 
the iy:^\Qs\ proiHaire oi prolttaires. Mr. Money had denounced the 
Ministers and the Tories; Mr. St. Paul denounced the Ministers, 

Miss Misanthrope. 141 

the Opposition, the Tories, the Liberals, the aristocracy, and the 
middle-class with equal fervour. The employers of labour and 
the clergy of all denominations came in for rattling vituperation at his 
hands. He assailed the two candidates and their political pro- 
fessions with good-humoured contempt He declared that if the 
Liberal candidate had a personal grievance which he wanted to put 
right in the contest, he, St. Paul, had a personal grievance of a 
natiure far more nearly concerning the people of Keeton — ^a griev- 
ance against the brother who had disowned and cast him off; who 
had slandered him, ousted him from the affections of his father, 
driven him into exil«; but who, thank heaven, could not intimidate 
him, or turn him into a crawling sycophant. He boasted that in 
spite of his brother, who had tried to ruin him, he had made a for- 
tune by his own hands and his own brains in the great Free Re- 
public, the land where there were no dukes, where all men were equal, 
where there was no hireling State clergy, and no trampling tyranny of 
employers — need he say it was the glorious republic beyond the 
Atlantic ? He made dreadful work of the allusion in Mr. Sheppard's 
address to the services rendered to Keeton by the ducal family. He 
indignantly asked of his hearers what a duke had ever done for the 
town. When had a duke pressed the honest hand of a Keeton 
working-man ? When had a duke or a duchess taken the slightest 
interest in the poor and virtuous working-women of Keeton ? Nay, 
he asked, when had a Keeton tradesman — and the Keeton trades- 
men had done more to make the place than the dukes — when 
had a Keeton tradesman or his wife been invited inside the 
doors of the ducal residence? The very men who were fight- 
ing the duke's battle to-day would find themselves very lucky 
indeed if they got even a civil bow from the duke or the duchess 

There was quite enough of truth in these hits to make them tell. 
St. Paul managed to " fetch," as he would himself have expressed ii, a 
good many among the discontented middle-class of the place. But 
with the proletaire he was a tremendous success. There had been 
some quarrel lately between the employers and the workpeople in 
the town, in which the latter were finally defeated, and the defeat 
rankled in their hearts, and they were glad of any chance of giving 
vent to their sense of wrong. St. Paul was, of course, all the more 
successfiil when he denounced aristocracy and caste because of his 
being one of the aristocracy and the ruling caste himself. He proudly 
declared that he had renounced his courtesy title, and that he stood 
on his merits as a man — a working-man who had worked with his 

142 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

own hands in a free land, and made a fortune there by manly energies, 
and brains, and strength. 

One little incident made him more than ever a hero. At the 
second meeting he held — it was in the large room of a great public- 
house — there was a good deal of noisy interruption, which seemed to 
come from one man in especial. He was recognised at once as a 
person employed in some way by Mr. Sheppard: a man of great 
muscle and a sort of local bully. Loud cries of " Turn him out ! " 
were raised. The disturber bawled a defiant request to the general 
company to let him know who proposed to turn him out. 

St. Paul paused in his flow of eloquence. 

" The honourable elector wishes to know," he said, in his familiar 
tone of imperturbable good-humour, " who will turn him out? I can 
tell him at once. I'll turn him out if he interrupts again in any way. 
This meeting is called by me. This hall is hired by me. I beg of 
my friends here not to interfere in the slightest. If that honourable 
elector interrupts again I will throw him down those stairs." 

Amid tremendous cheering the intrepid St. Paul resumed his 
eloquent argument. His boisterous enemy at once began his in- 
terruption all over again. St. Paul stopped. 

" Let no one interfere," he quietly said, " while I put that person 
out of the room." 

He promptly came down from the platform, amid vociferous 
cheering and wild excitement. 

Then followed a tumultuous scene, in which cheering, screaming, 
stamping, struggling, swearing, and indescribable noise of all kinds 
deafened every ear. A way was made for St. Paul, who advanced 
towards his antagonist The latter awaited him in attitude of utter 
defiance. St, Paul seized him round the waist and a furious stniggle 
set in. It was not of long endurance, however. The local bully was 
well enough in Keeton " rows." He had strength enough and all the 
skill that Keeton quarrels could teach; but St. Paul had had the training 
of Eton, and Oxford, and London, and all the practice of the rugged 
West. He was the Gamin and the Rowdy in one. The outlawry of 
two hemispheres had taught him its arts of defence and offence. He 
lifted the unlucky and too confident disturber clean off his feet He 
carried him out through frantically-cheering ranks, and he kept his 
word by literally throwing him down the stairs. 

Then he came back, good-humoured and cool as ever, and he 
went on with his speech. He was the idol of the Keeton mob from 
that moment forth. He was escorted that night to his hotel by a 
tumultuous throng of admirers, who would probably have offered to 

]\^iss Misanthrope. 143 

pull down the ducal hall if the rebel of the ducal family had hinted 
that it would give him any pleasure to see it done. 

All this changed completely the character of the contest. It be- 
came fierce and turbulent on both sides. Some of the followers of 
Mr. Sheppard tried retaliation, very much against the prudent advice 
of that candidate himself. The few days remaining before the election 
were so furious and riotous, that Mr. Money began to think it would 
be best to send his daughter and Minola home to London. Mr. 
Heron was so much engrossed in his cause and his speeches that he 
hardly heeded the tumults. He had been used to rougher scenes, and 
these made scarcely any impression on him. It sometimes seemed 
to Minola that Mr. Blanchet liked the tumult less than anyone; that 
even Lucy did not shrink from it with so much abhorrence. It was 
natural, she thought, that one who was at least of poetic nature, even 
if he were not a great poet, should shrink away from such degrading 
scenes. She felt her half-assumed dislike for men grow more and 
more into reaHty as she saw these specimens of the way in which they 
conduct their political contests. 

In truth, there had been springing up in sleepy Keeton of late 
years a class of whom the park knew nothing, of whom the middle- 
class knew little more, but which was likely to make a considerable 
change in the way of conducting local politics. The park and the 
middle-class heeded nothing, while this rough new body was growing 
into ideas about its own strength, its own wrongs, and its own rights. 
In Keeton, as in other places, people would probably have thought 
it wise to shut away from themselves all knowledge of unpleasant 
facts as long as they could; and if it had been hinted that there was a 
somewhat self-conceited and ^Qict proletaire class growing up in the 
town during all the years while the middle-class were fawning on the 
dukes and duchesses, and the dukes and duchesses were languidly 
patronising the middle-class, the prudent persons would have preferred 
to hear and say no more about such unlikely and disagreeable things. 
The election contest first made it evident that some of the seed- 
grains scattered by modem socialism had been blown as far as Keeton, 
and had sunk into the soil there and begun to grow up into rugged 
stems and prickly leaves. 

Minola absolutely refused to save herself by flight to London, or 
to believe that there could be any danger of serious disturbance. . If 
nothing else had kept her from leaving Keeton, her curiosity would 
have been enough. She was intensely anxious to see what would 
come of St. Paul's appearance on the scene. She was almost afiaid 
to think of the part she had innocently consented to play. §he 

144 T^ Gentlematis Magazine. 

remembered now St. PauFs illustration about the king who was sum- 
moned to cut the mysterious rope, and she thought that she was really 
in a position very much like his. She was perplexed, amused, curious, 
a little afraid, but still anxious above all things for Victor Heron's 
success, and determined to see the contest out, come what might. 

It was the night before the polling-day. Minola and Lucy were 
alone in their room. Victor Heron and Money were away speech- 
making somewhere. Since the appearance of St. Paul in the strife 
the girls had not gone to many meetings, or left the hotel after night- 
fall. Things were looking rather uncheerful now, and the two young 
women no longer regarded the whole affair as a great holiday or 

Lucy in especial was melancholy. The little weather-glass of her 
temperament rose and fell very readily to the changes of the atmo- 
sphere around her. The two friends were silent for a while. Lucy 
began at last to talk of what filled her mind. 

" I wish this was all over, Nola dear; I have a horrid foreboding 
as if something were going to happen — something unpleasant, I mean, 
of course." 

" This room is dull," Minola said. " Come out on the balcony, Lucy. 
The evening is beautiful. It is a sin to sit here and not see the sky." 

The girls went into the balcony, and stood there and looked out 
upon the scene. The hotel stood not far from the Court House, which 
Minola used to know so well in former days. The roof of the Court 
and the capitals of some of its white pillars could be seen from the 
balcony. In another direction lay the bridge, a little to the right of 
the girls in the balcony. The place where the hotel and the Court 
House stood was one of the few broad openings among the little maze 
of narrow streets which made up the town of Keeton. Minola could 
see the bridge plainly, and across the bridge the dark trees of the 
park. A faint continuous murmur was in their ears all the time. It 
might perhaps be the rush of the river, a littie louder of sound than was 
its wont ; but Minola fancied it was the noise of shouting mobs some- 
where — a noise to which Keeton streets, once so sleepy, were growing 
of late to be somewhat accustomed. This, however, was louder and 
longer than the sound of such popular manifestations as it usually 
reached the hotel. Minola, if she felt any alarm or misgiving, thought 
the best thing would be not to call her companion's attention to the 

The night was beautiful, as Minola had said. It was yet summer, 
although the evenings were growing short ; no breath of autumnal 
chilliness yet saddened the soft air. 

Miss Misanthrope. 145 

" I wish they would come back," Lucy murmured. " I don't at 
all like our being left alone in this way, Nola. I feel as if we ought 
to be afraid. Don't you ? " 

"No, dear; there is nothing to be afraid of." 

" Do you think so really ? Ah! but it is different with you." 

Lucy sighed, and Minola knew well what she would have said if 
she had spoken out her thoughts. She would have said, " It is so 
different with you ; you can afford to be composed and not alarmed, 
for you have not a father engaged in all this, nor a man whom you 
love." Minola read her thoughts and was silent, thinking all the 
more herself for the silence. 

" Hush, there is somebody," Lucy suddenly said, looking back 
into the room. " There certainly is some one there." 

So there was ; but it was not either of the two Lucy wished to 
see. It proved to be Mr. Blanchet, who had come into the room 
unseen while the girls were in the balcony. Minola felt glad to see 
him on the whole. It was a relief from the melancholy monotony 
of the evening, and of poor little Lucy's bodin^s and fears. 

Herbert Blanchet came out into the balcony in his familiar way, 
the way of a picturesque poet conscious of his poetry and his 
picturesqueness. It was a curious study, if any unconcerned observer 
there and then could have made the study, to notice the difference 
between the manner of Blanchet towards the two girls. To Lucy he 
was easy and even patronising, as if he would convey the idea that 
it was a kindness on his part to make himself agreeable to her. But 
to Minola he went on as if she were his acknowledged patroness and 
the ruler of his destiny. In good truth, however, there was not then 
much of a place for him in the mind of either girl. 

" \\Tiere have you come from ? Where is papa ? " Lucy asked 
with eagerness. 

" I have not been in the town," he said ; " I was away by the 
river. I heard noises— shouting and all that — and I did not care to 
get among the fellows in their electioneering work. I have had 
rather more than I care for of it. My fellow-man seems a parti- 
cularly offensive creature to me when he is in his political and 
robustious moods. I don't, as a nile, care much about Nature, but I 
prefer her company by far to that of such bellowing humanity as we 
see down yonder." 

" I hope nothing has happened to papa, or to Mr. Heron ? " 

" Oh, nothing has happened, you may be sure ! " the poet replied 
coolly. " They both rather revel in that sort of thing — it seems to 
be their native element. It won't harm them. In my case it is 
VOL. ccxLi. NO. 1760. L 

146 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

different ; I don't belong to the political arena ; I have nothing to do 
with the political elevation of my fellow-man. If he is to be elevated, 
I am content ; if not, I am content also." 

" I don't know how any man can be content to stand here in a 
balcony talking to two girls," said Minola, "while there is so much 
excitement down there. I could not if I were a man." 

" I will go down there if you wish," he replied with deprecating 
grace, " although I don't know that I could be of much use ; but I 
don't suppose there is any real danger." 

"I did not speak of danger," Minola said, rather contemptuously. 
" I only meant that there seemed to be some manly excitement 
there. There is no danger. It is not a battle, Mr. Blanchet." 

" There was some talk of a row," he answered ; " your friend St. 
Paul seems to have set the people wild somehow. But I should not 
think it would come to anything. Anyhow, Miss Grey, if you think 
I ought to be there, or that I could do any good, you have only to 
send me there." 

" No, no, Mr. Blanchet " — Minola was recovering her good- 
humour — " I don't want you to go. But Miss Money was a little 
uneasy about her father, and perhaps we were both disappointed 
that you did not come bringing us some news from the seat of war. 
You see, they won't allow us to go to the front any more." 

Meanwhile the noise grew louder and louder ; it came nearer and 
nearer too. There was a fury in the sound as clearly to be dis- 
tinguished from the shouting to which they were well accustomed as 
the obstreperous clamour of boys at play is from the cry of pain or 

" Something bad is going on, I know," Lucy said, turning pale 
and looking at Minola. 

Minola and Blanchet both leaned from the balcony, and could 
see a straggling group of women, and boys, and a few men making, as 
in a sort of stampede, for the neighbourhood of the hotel. They all 
kept looking eagerly behind them, as if something were coming that 
way which they feared, and yet were curious, to see. These fugitives, 
if they were to be called so, seemed to increase in numbers even as 
the watchers in the balcony looked out 

Mr. Blanchet went languidly downstairs to ask what the com- 
motion was about, but could hear nothing more precise in the hotel 
than the rumour that a riot of some kind had broken out in the town, 
and that there were not police enough to put it down. He came back 
to the balcony again. For his own part, he felt no manner of curiosity. 
He had always supposed that there were riots at elections, and he 

Miss Misanthrope. 147 

assumed that some persons of the lower classes generally got their 
heads broken. There was nothing in that to interest him. It might 
happen even that the candidates or their friends sometimes came in 
for rough treatment ; Mr. Blanchet would not have been very much 
disturbed by that in the present case. If Mr. Heron had got hurt 
he would have thought that on the whole it served him right. 

Minola watched eagerly from the balcony. Some affrighted people 
were now running past under the windows of the hotel, for the most 
part women dragging their children after them. Minola called out to 
some, and asked what was happening; but they only answered in 
some inarticulate attempt at explanation, and kept on their way. Some 
men passed almost in as much haste, and Blanchet called to them 
grandly to ask what was •* up." One shouted out that there was a 
terrible row going on in the town, got up by the " St. Paul's men," 
and that the military were sent for. Two of Money's servants, one 
his own man, were seen going out of the hotel in the direction of the 
increasing clamour. Lucy cried to them, and asked where they were 
going, and what had happened; but they only returned a respectful 
reassurance, something to the effect that it was nothing of any conse- 
quence, and then ran on towards the scene of the supposed disturb- 
ance, looking as if they thought it of much greater consequence 
than they said. The waiters and other servants of the hotel were 
presently seen to make preparations for closing the doors and 

" Things are beginning to look serious," said Blanchet, beginning 
to look very serious himself. 

" They must not close these windows," Minola said. " I mean 
to stay here and see what happens. If they do close the windows, I 
will stay here in the balcony all the same." 

" And so will I, Nola," Lucy exclaimed, looking pale, but showing 
no want of pluck. " Something may have happened to papa." 

" I don't know that it would not be better for you ladies to go 
in," Blanchet gravely urged. " I think, Miss Grey, you can hardly do 
much good here, and you would be quite safe indoors. Suppose you 
go in, and let them close these windows ? " 

*' You don't seem to understand women's curiosity, Mr. Blanchet, 
\i you fancy that Lucy and I could be content to be shut up while 
all you men were in the midst of some exciting adventure, and 
perhaps in most poetic danger." Minola spoke with a contempt she 
cared to make no effort to conceal. She thought Mr. Blanchet was 
selfish, and had no interest in the safety of other people. She had 
not yet formed the suspicion which later was forced into her mind. 

L 2 

148 TIte Gentleman's Magazine. 

Some of the servants of the hotel came to say that they believed 
there was a rather serious riot going on in the town, and that it 
would be prudent to close the windows and have the shutters put up, 
as it was quite possible that stones might be thrown, and might 
do mischief. Both the girls steadily refused to leave the balcony. 
Mr. Blanchet added his remonstrances, but without any effect. 
Minola suggested that the windows might be closed behind them as 
they stood on the balcony, and that Mr. Blanchet might, if he pleased, 
withdraw into the hotel ; but she declared that Lucy and she would 
remain in the balcony. 

" I don't believe there is a bit of real danger to us or to anyone," 
she declared. 

" But, my dear young lady," Mr. Blanchet urged, " what possible 
good can you do in any case by remaining in this balcony? I don't 
see how you could help Mr. Money and Mr. Heron, supposing them 
to be in any danger, by staying out there when these people evidently 
want us to come in." 

" f'or a poet, Mr. Blanchet," Minola said coldly, " you do not seem 
to have much of the dramatic instinct that helps people to under- 
stand the feelings of other people. Do you think Lucy Money could 
be content to hide herself in a cellar, and wait until some one kindly 
rerhembered to come and tell her how things were going with her 
father and — her friends ? " 

Minola spoke in immense scorn. 

The argument was cut short. The flying crowd nad been 
increasing every moment, and now the space before the windows of 
the hotel was thickly studded with people, who, having run thus far, 
appeared inclined to make a stand there, and see what was next to 
happen. The shadows were falling deeply, and it was beginning to 
be difficult to discern features clearly among the crowd under the 
windows. The clamour, the screaming, the noise of every kind had 
been increasing with each moment, until those in the balcony might 
almost have fancied that a battle of the old-fashioned kind, before the 
use of gunpowder, was being fought at a little distance. 

In another moment a small group of persons came hurrying up to 
the door of the hotel in a direction opposite to that from which the 
clamour of strife was heard. Minola could see the uniforms of police- 
men among this hurrying and seemingly breathless group, and she 
thought she recognised one face in their midst. 

The group consisted of a few policemen, wild with the haste and 
the excitement of their movements, and some civilians mixed up with 
them ; and Minola soon saw that her first conjecture was right, ?ind 

Miss Misanthrope. 149 

that they were forming a body-guard to protect Mr. Augustus Shep- 
pard. She could now see Sheppard's face distinctly. It was pale, 
and full of surprise and wrath ; but there did not seem much of fear 
about it. On the contrary, Mr. Sheppard seemed to be a sort of 
prisoner among his protectors and guardians. Apparently they were 
forcing him away from a scene where they believed there was danger 
for him, and he was endeavouring to argue against them, and almost 
to resist their friendly pressure. All this Minola, having tolerably 
quick powers of observation, took in, or believed she took in, at a 

The policemen and some of the civilians with them were knock- 
ing at the door of the hotel, and apparently expostulating with some 
of the people within. At first Minola could not understand the 
meaning of this. Mr. Blanchet was quicker. He guessed what was 
going on, and by leaning as far as his long form allowed him over 
the balcony he was able to hear some of the words of parley. 

" I say," he said, drawing back his head, " this is rather too good. 
This fellow — what's-his-name? Sheppard — is the unpopular candidate 
now, and the mob is after him, and these policemen are asking the 
people to take him in here, and bring all the row on us. I do hope 
they won't do that. What do we care about the fellow? Why 
should we run any risks if the police themselves can*t protect him ? " 

Mr. Blanchet was very pale. 

" For shame, Mr. Blanchet ! " Minola said indignantly. " Would 
you leave him to be killed ? " 

" Oh, they won't kill him ! you may be sure " 

" No, not if we can save him," Minola said. " These people 
shall take him in ! Lucy, these rooms belong to your father now — 
run to them and insist on their letting him in. I'll go down myself 
and open the doors, and bring him in." 

** They shall let him in," Lucy exclaimed, and ran downstairs. 
Minola was about to follow her. 

" This is very generous," said Blanchet, with a sickly effort at 
composure, " but it is very unwise, Miss Grey. I don't know that in 
the absence of Mr. Money I ought to allow you to expose yourselves 
to such risks." 

"Try if you can hinder us, Mr. Blanchet ! For shame ! Yes, I 
am ashamed of you. Oh, no, don't talk to me ! I am sorry to find 
that you are a coward." 

With this hard word she left him and ran downstairs. Just at 
this moment he heard the doors opened, in compliance with the 
insistance of Lucy. He heard her say with a certain firm dignity, 

150 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

which he had hardly expected to find in the little maid, that if any 
harm were done to the hotel because of Mr. Sheppard being taken in 
her father would make it good to the owner. Then, in a moment, the 
two girls returned, doing the honours as hostesses to Mr. Sheppard. 

Chapter XXIV. 


Mr. Sheppard made what he must have felt to be a sort of 
triumphal entrance. Perhaps he might have said with perfect 
truth, in the language appropriate to election contests, that that 
was the proudest moment of his life. He was almost dragged into 
the room by the two breathless girls, who, in the generous delight of 
having saved him from danger, seemed as if they could not make 
too much of him. He felt Minola's hand on his, as she forced him 
into the room. She would not let him go until she had fairly brought 
him into the room and closed the door behind him. For Mr. Shep- 
pard had really resisted with some earnestness the attempt to make 
him prisoner for his own safety. The genial constraint of Minola's 
hand was a delight. There was, less perceptibly to himself, another 
sensation of delight in his heart also. He had for the first time in 
his life been in serious danger, and he knew that he had not been 
afraid. It is no wonder if he felt a little like a hero now. 

He came in a good deal flushed, and even, if we may say so, 
rumpled ; but he made a gallant effort to keep up his composure. 
The first sight he met in the room was the pale, pitiful, angry, and 
scowling face of the insulted Blanchet. "Are they going to embrace 
the fellow ? " the embittered poet asked of his indignant soul, as he 
saw the unpopular candidate thus led for^'ard by the eager girls. 

Blanchet fell back into a corner, not deigning to say a word of 
welcome to the rescued Sheppard. Mr. Sheppard, however, hardly 
noticed him. 

" I am sorry to disturb you, ladies," he said ; " and I am obliged 
beyond measure for your kindness. I am not afraid myself of any 
danger in Keeton, but the police thought some disturbance might 
happen, and they insisted on my going out of the streets ; but I shall 
be able to relieve you of- this intrusion in a few minutes, I feel quite 

" You shan't stir from this place, Mr. Sheppard, until everything 
is perfectly safe and quiet," Minola said. " If necessary, Lucy — Miss 

Miss Misanthrope. ' 151 

Money — ^and I will hold you prisoner until all danger is over. We 
are not afraid either." 

At this moment there was such a renewal of the clamour that 
Minola could not restrain her curiosity, but, having begged Mr. Shep- 
pard to remain where he was, and not show himself, she ran into the 
balcony again. 

The sight she saw was so turbulent, and to her so unusual, that 
for a second or two she could make nothing of it. She saw only a 
confusion of heads and faces, and whirling arms and lights, and men 
falling, and furious blows interchanged, and the confusion was made 
almost bewildering by the shouting, the screaming, and the curses 
and yells of triumph which seemed to her excited ears to fill all th« 
air. At last she got to understand, as if by a kind of inspiration, 
that a fierce mob were trying to break into the hotel, and that the 
police were doing their best to defend it. The poor police were 
getting the worst of it. At the same time she was aware of a certain 
conunotion in the room behind her, which she felt somehow was 
occasioned by the efforts of Mr. Sheppard to get out at any risk to' 
himself, and the attempts of Lucy and some of the servants to dis- 
suade him. To this, however, Minola now could pay but slight atten- 
tion. She felt herself growing sick and faint with horror as she saw 
one policeman struck down, and saw the blood streaming from his 
face. She could not keep from a wild cry. Suddenly her attention 
was drawn away even from this ; for in a moment, she could not tell 
how, a diversion seemed to be effected in the struggle, and Minola 
saw that Heron and Mr. Money were in the thick of it. 

Her first impulse was to spring back into the room and tell Lucy 
of her father's danger. Luckily, however, she had sense enough to 
restrain this mad impulse, and not to set Lucy wild with alarm to no 
possible purpose. She saw that Heron, at the head of a small, reso- 
lute body of followers, had fought his way in a moment into the very 
heart of the crowd, and was by the side of the policemen. He 
dragged to his feet the fallen policeman ; he seized with vehement 
strength one after another of those who were pressing most fiercely 
on the poor fellow ; she could see two or three of these in succession 
flung backwards in the crowd ; she could see that Heron had some 
shining thing in his hand which she assumed to be a revolver ; and 
she put her hands to her ears with a woman's instinctive horror of the 
sound which she expected to follow ; and, when no sound came, she 
wondered why Heron did not use his weapon and defend the police. 
She could see Mr. Money engaged now in furious remonstrance and 
now in furious blows with some of the mob, whom he appeared to 

152 714^ Gentlemafis Magazine. 

drag, and push, and drive about, as if there were no such thmg in the 
world as the possibility of harm to himself, or of his getting the worst 
of it. For a while the resolute energy of the attempt at rescue made 
by Heron and Money appeared to carry all before it ; but after a 
moment or two the mob saw how small was the number of those who 
were trying to effect the diversion. As Minola came to know after- 
wards, Heron and Money had only heard in another part of the town 
that a riot was going on near the hotel, and hurried on with half a 
dozen friends, arriving just at a very critical moment. They came by 
the same way as the police and Sheppard had come, and, falling on 
the mob unexpectedly, made for a moment a very successful diver- 
sion. But they were soon surrounded by the rallying crowd, and 
Minola saw her two friends receive many savage blows, and she 
wondered in all her wild alarm how they seemed to make so little of 
them, but went on struggling, striking, knocking down, just as before. 
Above all she wondered why Victor Heron did not use his revolver 
to defend his friends and himself, not knowing, as Victor did, that 
the weapon was good for nothing. At least, it was good for nothing 
just then but inarticulate dumb show. He had not loaded it, never 
thinking that there was the least chance of his having to use it ; and, 
indeed, it was only by the merest chance that he happened to have 
it in his pocket. Such as it was, however, it had done him some 
service thus far ; for more than one sturdy rioter had fallen back in 
sudden dismay, and given Victor a chance to knock his heels from 
under him when he found the muzzle of the revolver close to his 
forehead. This could not last long. The mob began to understand 
both the numbers and the weapons of their enemies. The police 
fought with redoubled pluck and energy for a while, but the com- 
batants were all too crowded together to allow coolness and disci- 
pline to tell, as they might have done othenvise ; and the numbers 
were overwhelming against our friends. Just as Minola saw Victor 
Heron struck with a stone on the head, and saw the red blood come 
streaming, she heard some one beside her in the balcony. 

" Go back, Lucy," she cried ; " go back ! — this is no place for 

" Is it a place for you. Miss Grey ? " a melancholy voice asked. 
" It is not Lucy ; it is I. You said I was a coward. Miss Grey ; I'll 
show you that you have wronged me." 

The poet, for all his excitement, was as grandly theatric as was his 
wont. He looked calmly over the exciting scene, and tried to keep 
his lips from quivering at its decidedly unpleasant aspect. That fierce 
savage, imromantic, and even vulgar struggle was in truth a hideous 

Miss Misanthrope. 153 

whirlpool for a picturesque poet to plunge into. Yet was Mr. Blanchet's 
mind made up. 

"Oh, Mr. Blanchet, they will be killed!" 

"Who? — ^who?" the poet cried, peering wildly down into the hor- 
rible mob-caldron below. 

" Oh, don't you see ?— Mr. Heron, Mr. Heron — and Lucy's father 1 
Oh, merciful heaven, he is down — they will kill him ! " 

" rU save him," the poet wildly exclaimed ; " I'll save him. Miss 
Grey, or perish with him !" He was armed with a poker, which he 
flourished madly round his head. 

Even at that moment Minola was startled to see Blanchet pre- 
paring to scramble over the balcony, and fling himself that way into 
the thick of the fight. 

" Oh, don't, don't ! " she cried to him ; "you will be killed." 

He smiled back a wild smile. 

" At least you shall say I am no coward," he exclaimed ; and in 
another moment he had scrambled over the balcony and dropped him- 
self, floundering, poker in hand, on the moving mass of heads below. 

At any other moment Minola might have thought of the prayer in 
" Firmilian " for a poet to be sent down from above, and the unex- 
pected and literal manner in which the prayer is answered. At any 
other moment, perhaps, she might have found it hard to restrain her 
laughter at the manner in which Mr. Blanchet came crashing down 
on the heads of some of the combatants, and the consternation which 
his descent created among them. At his first coming down he carried 
a dozen or so of combatants tumbling on the ground along with him, 
and Minola in her Rebecca-post of observation could see nothing but 
a confused mass of struggling legs and arms. But Mr. Blanchet 
somehow scrambled to his feet again, and he laid about him with his 
poker in such insane fashion, and with such advantage of long arms, 
that his single and wholly untutored prowess did really for the moment 
efiect an unexpected diversion in favour of those he came to rescue. 
In a moment Minola saw Victor Heron on his feet again ; and she 
saw him amid all the thick of the affray give Blanchet an encouraging 
and grateful clap on the back ; and then she thought she saw Blanchet 
down again ; and then confusion inextricable seemed to swallow 
up alL 

All this, it will be understood, occupied but a few minutes. Sud- 
denly the trampling of horses was heard, and a cry was raised that the 
cavalry were coming. 

" Oh, thank God! " Minola said to herself and to the night air ; " if 
it be not too late." 

1 54 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

It was not the cavalry, however, but an interposition which at the 
moment proved as effective. Minola saw some men on horses gallop 
into the thick of the crowd, forcing their way as if human beings were 
not liable to any inconvenient consequences from having the hoofs of 
horses plunging among them. Wild and maddened as it was, the mob 
had to pay some little attention to these new-comers. One of them, 
who led the way, kept shouting in strident aftd occasionally shrilly 
tones a command to all who heard him to disperse and " stop the 
row." His voice and his presence were recognised in another mo- 
ment, and the nearest rioters set up a tremendous cheer for him, which 
others caught up and renewed again and again, until Minola might 
have thought that the whole business in which they were engaged was 
to hurrah for the new-comer. Men actually in hand-to-hand fight 
with some policeman or other representative of the cause of order 
gave up for the moment defence or offence, and let the antagonist 
hammer away as he thought fit, while they cheered for their favourite. 
Minola had recognised him already. There was no mistaking the 
bald head, the bold blue eyes, the stooping shoulders, the general 
air of reckless bravado and good-humour. She could see his face and 
head plainly, for he carried his hat in his hand and waved it gallantly 
at every cheer of the crowd. He forced a way right up to the door 
of the hotel where the thick of the struggle was, and in passing under 
the balcony he looked up and saw Minola, and made her a courteous 
bow. There was some further scuffling, clamour, and altercation \ 
but Minola could see that the influence of the popular candidate was 
all-prevailing, and that the battle was over. In a few seconds the 
crowd began to melt away. The air was rent with shouts of civil 
strife no longer, but with repeated cheers for the hero of the night. 
The police made some futile efforts to retain a few prisoners ; but 
not much seemed to come of that. Minola was rejoiced to hear 
the voice of Mr. Money say, in its usual tones of blunt self- 
possession — 

" Never mind, officers ; you know the names of some of the 
fellows ; you can see to them to-morrow ; better look after yourselves 
just now. Where's the poor fellow who was hurt?" 

In another moment or two Minola found herself out of the 
balcony, and trying to make a way into the room which she had 
quitted, and which seemed now a general resort. First she saw Lucy 
thro\ving her arms round her father's neck. Then some shifting 
figure intervened, and she saw no more of Lucy, but was aware of 
Victor Heron and Mr. Sheppard exchanging friendly words. The 
room was full of people. . She could hear various voices declaring 

Miss Misanthrdpe. 1 5 5 

that their owners were not in the least hurt ; but she could see that 
Victor Heron had the mark of a large cut on the forehead, and that 
some one was tying Money's arm in a sling. 

" Oh, I'm all right ! " she heard Victor say; " nothing much 
happened to me ; Money came off much worse. But that poor 
policeman — I am greatly afraid he was badly hurt." 

"Never saw such scoundrels," Money observed ; "by Jove, 
Heron, I thought at one time that your grievance was about to be 
settled for ever. It was all that confounded St Paul's doings." 

At this moment Minola saw the intrepid St. Paul himself enter 
the room. She, standing with her back to the window, saw him 
before anyone else did. 

Mr. St. Paul pushed his way with his easy and indolent hardihood. 

" I have come to offer an apology to the ladies," he said, while 
everyone turned round amazed at the sound of his voice, and he 
stood meeting with cheery composure the gaze of all the eyes, and 
all their various expressions. " I wish to offer an apology to the 
ladies, who, I am sorry to hear, were alarmed by the violence of some 
of my supporters — of course by no encouragement of mine, as 
every gentleman here will understand. But I am very sorry to hear 
that Miss Money and Miss Grey were alarmed by the little row, and 
I've come to offer them the assurance of my regret." 

Victor Heron broke from those around him, and went up to 
St. Paul. 

" Mr. St Paul, I hold you responsible for the whole of what has 
happened to-night," he said. " You set your blackguards on to 
disturb this town, and if any harm comes of it — if that poor 
policeman who has been hurt should come to any grief — you shall be 
accountable for it I promise you that you shall." 

" We are all rather confused to-night," St Paul coolly replied, 
" and we are in a humour for making rather sweeping assertions. I 
am sorry you got hurt, Heron, on my honour ; but there's no use 
in making a fuss about these things. I tell you what, my good 
fellow, you owe it to me altogether that you have not had your 
brains knocked out" 

" Your gang of hired bravoes were capable of anything in the 
way of crime," Heron said ; " but if they hadn't been twenty to one 
we shouldn't have wanted the intervention of their employer. Thank 
God, I put my mark on some of them ! " 

" Dare say you did — that's the way with all you peaceful fellows. 
I'm glad I came in time, however ; and it's no use our losing our 
tempers about the whole affair. It wasn't much of a row, after all." 

156 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

"Let me tell you, Mr. St Paul," Money said, coming to the 
rescue, ** that if you think you can carry things off in this way you 
are confoimdedly mistaken. You know as well as I do that you 
will never be allowed to hold a seat got by such flagrant and such — 
such infernal intimidation." 

" You may rely upon it, Mr. St. Paul," Mr. Sheppard said, like- 
wise interfering in the dispute, " that neither Mr. Heron nor I will 
allow the proceedings of this night to go without a full judicial 
inquiry. Violence, sir, shall never be allowed to triumph in the 
parliamentary elections of this ancient and honourable borough." 

" Bravo, Sheppard; that's very well said, indeed," the incorrigible 
St Paul observed. " You have evidently been preparing for the place 
of its representative. But wouldn't it be as well, gentlemen, to wait 
until the close of the poll before we go into all this ? I have, of course, 
all the confidence which a good cause and the support of the people 
must give a man ; but in such a borough there are unfortunately 
other influences at work, as our friend Sheppard knows, and it is just 
possible that I may not be elected. For the present 1 only came to 
offer to the ladies the expression of my sincere regret that they 
should have been annoyed or alarmed in any way. I don't see Miss 
Money present ; but I am happy enough to see Miss Grey, and I 
hope she will allow me to off*er my apologies for what was, however, 
no fault of mine." 

Minola had kept near her window all this time, and was in hope 
of escaping without notice. But Mr. St. Paul coolly made his way 
to her, pushing all intervening persons aside, as if they hardly 
counted for anything in his progress. 

" I hope you don't think all this absurd affair was my personal 
doing," he said, when he was close to her. 

" I hope it was not your doing," Minola replied emphatically ; 
" I should think it disgraceful for anyone to have caused so much 
disturbance and done so much harm." 

" Hadn't a thing to do with it, I give you my word. But don't 
you mind these fools — lucky for some of them that I came in 

" It was disgraceful," said Minola \ " a poor man was very much 
hurt, I am told." 

"It was not a very big row, after all," he observed calmly; "I 
have seen twenty bigger, about which there wasn't half the talk. 
Anyhow, you'll find I have kept my word. Miss Grey ; your man 
stands to win." 

He made her a polite bow, took in the company generally in a 

Miss Misanthrope. 157 

friendly salute, and left the room with the same entirely self-satisfied 
good-humour which he had brought in with him. 

Minola felt that in a manner the eyes of the world were on her. 
She went up to Mr. Money, passing Victor Heron on her way. 

" Where is Lucy, Mr. Money ? " she asked. 

** Oh, we sent her out of the room ! I really thought I saw you 
going with her. She got frightened when she saw that Heron — and 
myself, I suppose, were a little hurt. She is very nervous, and she 
seemed like fainting." 

" ril go to her," Minola said. 

She was hastily leaving the room, when Victor Heron stopped 
her. He seemed greatly annoyed at something. 

" What was that fellow saying to you, Miss Grey ? I advised you 
before not to let that man talk to you so much. You are too young; 
you don't understand ; but I do wish you would not encourage him. 
He seems to go on as if he were a personal friend of yours. Don't 
let him, Miss Grey — do have sense and take my advice." 

Minola thanked him with a grave and perplexing politeness, and 
made haste to follow Lucy. While she was speaking to, or rather 
listening to, Heron, the eyes of Mr. Sheppard had been on them, 
even as the eyes of Heron had been on her while she spoke to Mr. 
St. Paul. Sheppard saw that her manner to Heron was cool and 
indifferent, and he was glad once more. 

Victor Heron turned away disappointed. As Minola was leaving 
the room she heard him ask — 

" Where's Blanchet ? Has anyone seen Blanchet ? I saw him 
last in the thick of the fight — he came to my help in good time, and 
I hope he isn't hurt Look for Blanchet, somebody." 

A pang went through Minola's heart. She thought that if any 
harm had befallen the poet it might have been her bitter words which 
drove him in the way of it. " And I was quite unjust to him, and 
he is no coward," she said to herself remorsefully. 

[To be continued.) 

158 The Gentleman's Magazine. 



WHEN, some months ago now, a deputation of London 
merchants interested in the trade with Sicily waited upon 
Lord Derby for the purpose of urging him to represent to.the Italian 
Government the absolute necessity of repressing energetically the 
brigandage which threatened to make all civilised intercourse with 
the island impossible, the newspapers which brought the accounts of 
the step so taken by these London traders were received with a howl 
of indignation in Italy ! A few of the more respectable and thought- 
ful organs, especially those of the party now in opposition, — the 
"Moderates," as they are called in opposition to the "Liberals," 
which title answers to what we should call the Radicals, — declared 
that the blush of shame which such a fact must bring to the cheeks of 
every patriotic Italian ought to act only as a stimulus to amend the 
evils complained of ; that, indignant as he must feel, the only possible 
answer to such an affront was an earnest determination to remove the 
causes of it. But the general sentiment called forth was one of un- 
mixed anger at the audacity of those foreigners who had dared to 
move a foreign Government on the subject " If the Englishjtraders 
don't like Sicily as they find it, let them go elsewhere ! " exclaimed 
one of these patriotic writers. It was remarked in reply by the 
Opinione^ one of the most ably conducted papers which Italy 
possesses, that the writer above quoted evidently did riot know what 
he was talking about when he invited the English merchants trading 
with Sicily to withdraw their capital from the island ; that a determi- 
nation on their part to do so would be equivalent to the destruction 
of all that was best in Sicily. 

But the Italian feeling, which was irritated by the touch of foreign 
hands on this sore place, was as nothing when compared to the 
Sicilian feeling aroused by an appeal from Sicilians to the Italian 
Government at Rome. So strong is the demand for " Home Rule " 
on the part of Sicilian patriots ! A group of Sicilians (Palermitans, 
gll^lieve) telegraphed to the present Minister for Home Affairs some 

J. time ago, urging on him the absolute necessity of taking 

The '* Mafia " and '\Omertd " in Sicily. 1 59 

immediate measxires for the better protection of life and property in 
the island. On which a Sicilian deputy rose in his place in the 
Chamber to denounce the fact with the utmost indignation, and to 
demand the names of those who had sent the telegram ! The 
Minister very properly refused absolutely to give them. And, 
indeed, to have done so would have been to render the lives of his 
petitioners not worth an hoiur's purchase. 

And when the late Ministry, shortly before they left office last 
March twelvemonth, attempted to pass a bill giving them exceptional 
powers for the putting down of brigandage in Sicily, they were 
opposed by almost every Sicilian deputy in the Chamber. They 
failed to pass their bill, and the failure contributed to their fall. The 
entire ** Liberal " party voted against the enactment of any excep- 
tional measures, merely as a means of ousting their opponents from 
office, and basing their opposition on their unwillingness to entrust 
such power to hands in which they had no confidence. But the 
Sicilian deputies opposed all meddling with their island institutions, 
whether by one or the other political party. The fact is, that they 
deliberately choose to live in their social sty such as they have made 
it, and cry aloud against any attempt to cleanse it I 

English capital has not yet been quite driven out of the island, 
for Englishmen are tenacious and not easily beaten. But here is an 
anecdote, which reached the present writer directly from the person . 
concerned, which may serve to show how entirely the island is in the 
possession of the so-called mafiay and how fatal such a state of 
things must be to any economical amelioration. 

There existed, and exists still I presume, a family of ancient 
standing in the interior of the island, which possesses a large and 
curious collection of ancient armour, which the owners had come to 
the determination to sell. A Roman dealer in antiquities, my in- 
formant, thought he saw his way to a profitable stroke of business, 
and made up his mind to start for Sicily for the purpose of buying 
the entire collection. But just as he was about to leave Rome he 
received a letter, saying that there would be no objection to his 
purchasing the collection, but that it must be understood that the 
owners would not be allowed to sell, or the purchaser to remove his 
purchases from the island, mthout the payment of a certain named, 
and very extortionate, percentage to the brigand chiefs. The family 
in question did not seem to conceive for an instant the idea of dis- 
puting or resisting this decree in any manner; the Roman dealer 
gave up his journey, and the armour doubtless is still hanging on 
the walls where it has remained for so many centuries. 

i6o The Gentleman's Magazine. . 

Now, before speaking of the modes in which it acts, it is worth 
while to explain what this fnqfta is and means, for many mistaken 
ideas have been current concerning it. 

Here is the best explanation I have found of the word. It is that 
given by Signor Franchetti in his recent work on Sicily. No other 
of the great number of writers on the subject, whose writings I have 
seen, seems to have understood the matter as thoroughly as he has. 
'* La mafia^^ he says, " is a mediaeval sentiment. Whosoever believes 
that he can provide for the protection and security of his person 
and his goods by dint of his own personal prowess and influence, 
without having any recourse to law or the constituted authorities, he is 

Thus those who wield the powers of, and profit by, the mafia 
are termed mafiosi \ but it is an error to imagine that there is any 
definite society so named, secret or other, which has certain rules, 
and to which a man is regularly admitted. If we imagine a school 
in which, by reason of the negligence of the master and the spiritless 
temperament of the mass of the smaller boys, "bullying" in its 
grossest form is prevalent, the " bullies " are there mafiosi. In a 
society where law can hardly be said to exist, where long centuries 
of the most monstrously bad government have caused it to be a por- 
tion of the nature of every man in every class to consider law, and 
all appeal to the law, as an unmixed evil, the man with the tempera- 
ment of a school bully becomes, not by any matriculation or aggre- 
gation, but by the force of things and the strength of his will, a 
mafioso. Strength will be lord of imbecility in the long-run even 
in civilised communities. The difference in Sicily is that the 
" run," unmodified by the intervention of law, is a very short one ; 
and the man who is most audacious in the assertion of his will is 

Perhaps the most extraordinary feature in the case, and at the 
same time that which more than any other makes it seem a hopeless 
one, is that those who suffer most by the mafia are utterly averse 
to any proposals or measures for the amelioration of it. They — the 
owners of property, as well as those who live on them by rapine and 
violence — prefer lawlessness to law. In those few words the whole 
of the causes of so hopeless a state of things are sufficiently set forth. 
The power of the mafia in action is supported by a code of 
ethics, prevalent and exclusively respected throughout the island, 
called *' Omerthy I have seen this word incorrectly, as I believe, 
stated in some English work to be a provincial pronunciation of 
umiitdy "hunjility," which suggests an idea as much opposed to 

The '* Mafia " and *' OmertcL " in Sicily. 1 6 1 

that which underlies the Sicilian code of morality as can well be. 
Omertct is, I take it, derived from homo, and signifies "man- 
liness ; " and this manliness is to be shown by hating, scorning, and 
abjuring all appeal to law. Omertd requires that your own hand 
alone should protect your head ; but it also requires that in any cir- 
cumstances in which it should fail to be able to do so, the man who 
has omertd at heart must bend his head and suffer. Vengeance, 
however tardy, and obtained by whatever amount of treachery and 
striking from behind, is in honourable conformity with omerth \ 
but there must be no appeal to law. Nor does it always appear that 
the mafiost, however indisputable their title to the appellation, are 
safe from the vengeance of their fellows. Hawks do pick out hawks' 
een in Sicily. 

Signor Franchetti, in his admirable volume recently published at 
Florence, " On the Political and Administrative Conditions of Sicily,'' 
relates that a wealthy proprietor of the neighbourhood of Palermo was, 
in the immediate vicinity of the city, shot at as he passed in his car- 
riage. As many as five or six bullets whizzed past him ; but almost 
miraculously he escaped. No complaint was made to the police 
authorities, and no sort of notice seemed to be taken of the circum- 
stance. But within a few mqnths every one of those who had ' 
taken part in the attempted assassination was himself assassinated. 
The mqfiosi, who attempted the crime and failed, had impru- 
dently attacked one more mafioso than themselves, and paid with 
their lives for the mistake. And the " justice " thus done completely 
satisfied all the exigencies of Sicilian public opinion ! Had the 
original object of the assassins appealed to the law to protect or 
avenge him, there would not have been the smallest chance of ob- 
taining any evidence or a conviction against the assassins ; and their 
intended victim would have undoubtedly lost his life by some less 
maladroit hand. He would also have been dishonoured by his 
failing in omertd. " The mass of the population," says Signor 
Franchetti, " admits, recognises, and justifies the existence of forces 
which would elsewhere be deemed unlawful, and the means which 
those forces use to attain their objects." So that whosoever should 
elect to place himself on the side of the law would incur, besides the 
risk of vengeance, that public disapprobation which constitutes dis- 
honour. Thus crimes are committed in the most open manner, 
without its being possible for the authorities to discover the authors 
of them. Everybody knows who they are,, where they are, what they 
have done, and what they are going to do. But nobody denounces 
them, nobody gives evidence against them ; not even the victim, who, 
vou ccxLi. Na 1760. ^, 

1 62 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

if he is strong enough and bold enough, awaits his opportunity to 
avenge himself; if not, suffers with resignation and is silent If 
perchance the police by dint of zeal and activity succeeds, in the first 
moments after the commission of a crime, in obtaining some clue to 
the perpetrators of it, or some denunciation of them, all vanishes 
as soon as ever the trial begins. Witnesses deny what they have 
previously said ; those who have accused withdraw their accusations. 
Despite evidence and the public notoriety which point out the cri- 
minal, the law is impotent for the punishment of him. 

The following account of the difficulty in which the representative 
of the Government — the Prefect — ^finds himself on arriving at Palermo, 
and entering on the duties of his office, is so curious and so striking 
that we cannot abstain from taking it from Signor Franchetti's 
pages : 

A representative of the Government is sent to Palermo armed with the most 
extended power over the military forces of the whole of the island, and over the 
civil administration of the province of Palermo, and with orders to do his utmost 
for the re-establishment of order. He arrives full of zeal, and ardently desirous 
of attaining the end proposed to him. His first business is to look around him, 
and seek for some one who may give him information which may assist him in 
discovering the causes of disorder and the means of punishing the guilty. In the 
Government offices he finds a complete ignorance of aU he needs to know. In 
the city, on the contrary, he finds powerful organisations vying with each other 
in their offers to serve him with their intimate knowledge of the local conditions 
in their most recondite particulars, and with the sure and prompt means of action 
of which they can dispose, without appearing to demand any other recompense 
save the honour of serving him. He finds an innumerable quantity of people, 
adepts in murder, and ready to commit it for anybody who wiU pay them. He 
finds both older and more recent records of repressions executed by the agents of 
the Government, but which have more the air of assassinations than of punish- 
ments. In such a condition of things he is driven, one may say, fatally to rely 
on the only force which he finds within his reach. He returns to the traditions of 
the old Bourbon Government, which have never been entirely broken with ; he 
permits malefactors to be enrolled in the armed force of the Government ; he puts 
the Government uniform on them ; he opens to them the offices of the detective 
police ; he allows the local administrations and all the governmental organisations 
to fall into the power of the influential persons from whom he receives support. 
. . . And then one sees the ruffianism paid by the Government, farming, as 
one may say, from the Government the duty of assassinating such criminals as 
are not licensed by themselves, which they punctually do whenever such male- 
factors do not ally themselves with them and divide with them the produce of 
their crimes. Men wearing the official uniform have been seen committing crimes 
also on their own account, while the representatives of the Government were con- 
strained to refrain from looking too closely into the methods of proceeding adopted 
by such perilous instruments, and reduced to shut their eyes to the most horrible 
crimes, while covering them with the authority of the Italian Government. 

It would be a great mistake, however, to suppose that the malady 

The ** Mafia " and " Omertci " in Sicily. 163 

which afflicts the whole community in Sicily is confined to the com- 
mission of acts of brigandage and crime. The matter is far more 
complicated, and the virus far more intimately assimilated with every 
portion of the blood of the body social. Murder is the foundation- 
stone on which the whole of the social fabric rests. If the assassin 
is not always in presence red-handed on the scene, the whole business 
of the drama proceeds on the thoroughly well-grounded assumption 
that he is never absent from behind the wings, and is ready to appear 
at a moment's notice. A man wishes to sell a house or a field. 
Another wishes to buy it who is known to be a capo mafia — a 
leading man among the mafiosi, that is to say. For that field or that 
house no other soul will be found to offer a farthing. The thing has 
become so accepted, so much a matter of course, that those who 
live under and by the rule of the mafia very frequently do not 
render any conscious account to themselves of the motives on which 
they act 

It is not necessary that a man should say to himself : " If I offer 
a price for that field my neighbour the grocer will be annoyed, and 
the result of that will be that that swaggering fellow, his wife's cousin, 
will assiu-edly put a bullet into me." It is as a matter of course to 
him that he puts no impediment in the way of the man, who is 
known to have the means of letting loose murder. But why, it may 
be asked, does not the man who would have liked to bid for the 
field, but dared not, murder the grocer, or cause him to be murdered, 
instead of fearing to be murdered by him ? The answer is simply 
that the grocer, as we have called him, is the stronger character of 
the two, the boldest, the most unscrupulous, perhaps also, in some 
degree, the most favoured by chance — the chance of having that wife's 
cousin, for example. As hanging is the ultima ratio on which the 
criminal jurisprudence rests, though it be but rarely brought into 
operation — as war is the ultima ratio on which all international 
arrangements and dealings depend — so murder is the ultitna ratio on 
which the whole social fabric reposes in Sicily. 

There is no department of life whatsoever in which a power 
greater than that of the law, and hostile to that of the law, does not 
prevail. The administrative affairs of the communes are managed 
in accordance with the interests and the will of certain well-known and 
well-recognised persons in the community. It passes as a matter of 
course that they should be so. If the will of the persons in question 
should involve any whatsoever amount of corruption, malversation, 
misappropriation of funds, oppression of the poorer classes to the 
profit of the richer, all this is a matter of course too. And it 


1 64 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

probably may not occur to any of those who submit to this tyranny 
and oppression to say to themselves : the reason why all this mal- 
versation takes place, the reason why the making of that most 
necessary road is entrusted to A. B., who, instead of carrying out his 
contract, puts the money in his packet — why the whole commune 
votes for the re-election of a mayor and councillors who are known to 
have scandalously robbed the community — is, that if the mayor 
did not give the contract to the fraudulent contractor, and if the 
voters did not vote for the corrupt mayor, not many weeks would 
pass before the offender would be shot from behind the corner of a 
house or a garden wall, while the great CD., the capo mafia tyrant 
of the district, by all well known to be such, is tranquilly smoking 
his cigar or lounging down the village street with his hands in his 
pockets ! But that is what is in the background of all their minds ; 
and the result is not only a great fear, but a great respect for the said 
C. D. 

I remember a story told me by a friend who had just returned 
from Egypt. He asked his guide, while travelling, to whom belonged 
a handsome-looking house by the side of the road. " O sir, there 
lives So-and-so ! Most respectable man, sir. The other day he 
killed his cook ! Very respectable man, sir." The Egyptian used 
his English more correctly than many to the manner bom ! The 
man who had killed his cook was a man to be respected. And the 
sentiment of the Sicilian is of precisely the same nature as that of the 
Egyptian. The man whose lawless violence was so masterful as to 
kill his cook because he had offended him was a man evidently to 
be feared. " Respected," in the ethical conception of the Egyptian 
and the Sicilian equally, is synonymous with " feared." 

Signer Franchetti shows with great abundance of detail, what 
indeed one knew from many sources before, that this terrorism 
pervades every — absolutely every — department of life. Even the 
funds of charitable foundations are distributed in accordance with its 
dictates. Not a servant can be hired or discharged without reference 
to the will of the unseen power which is paramount in the island. 

I have pointed out that in every commune there will be found some 
man or some family whose will is law in that district, who disposes 
of the communal funds, controls the election of municipal officers, 
whose property is never touched, while depredations of all sorts are 
constantly committed against that of others, and whose means very 
frequently are increased from sources the nature of which every one 
understands perfectly well, though no one dreams of mentioning 
them. Such persons or families are the despotic lords of their district. 

The ''Mafia '' and " Omerta " in Sicily. 165 

But, as may be readily understood, it not unfrequently happens that 
they may have a rival near the throne, that there may be other aspirants 
to the position which they hold. And then arises a state of things 
which demonstrates that the mafia is no organised society giving to 
the members of it any status or right as regards each other. For 
in such a case the ultima ratio of murder is at once appealed to, and 
he remains the cock of the walk who can murder most Thus family 
feuds are generated which often endure till one of the rival races is 
exterminated. Recently, in a district near to Palermo, a civil war of 
this sort broke out, as Signor Franchetti relates, between two families 
thus contending for pre-eminence. The murder of a member of one 
party was promptly avenged by the killing of one on the other side. 
And thus in that one commune, and in the space of one year, there 
were five-and-thirty murders ! 

When a rivalry of this sort breaks out, there arises an unfailing 
tendency to spread the operations of crime and violence over a 
continuously increasing area. " Each party," says Signor Franchetti, 
" chooses its banner from the inexhaustible arsenal of political or even 
religious parties. It matters little what, for the name is all that is 
wanted. Then each of the rivals seeks to recruit his party and extend 
his alliances among the classes of malefactors, assassins, and those 
hiding from justice. And for the attracting of such adherents, for 
the encouragement of old supporters, and to invite new ones, he seeks 
to extend his reputation for power, influence, and violence. His 
object is to show that his clients, let their business or their need be 
what it may, are assured of aid and protection never failing them, 
and always efficacious. And thus each head of a party adds to the 
violences committed on his own account those committed on behalf 
of his adherents. He resents injuries done to them as if they were 
his own, and he adopts their quarrels and vengeances." One is re- 
minded in many respects of the Border life of some couple of hundred 
years ago, save that the crimes of the Sicilian outlaw are unredeemed 
by any touch of generosity, chivalry, or manly feeling of any kind. 
No more deep and far-reaching indication of the profound degrada- 
tion of character and sentiment prevailing, than the use of the word 
" omerth " to express the meanings it signifies in a Sicilian mouth, 
can be conceived. 

I have shown, on the authority of Signor Franchetti, the extreme 
difficulty which the Government has to contend with in dealing with 
crime in Sicily. But it has in its hands one most potent arm, the 
nature of which must now be explained to the reader. This formidable 
weapon consists of two parts, the " admonition," and " compulsory 

1 66 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

residence " {domiciito coatto). When the police has reason, from the 
private information of its agents, to suspect any individual as 
criminal or an accomplice in crime, it watches that person. If its 
suspicions are confirmed by the results of such watchfulness, the in- 
dividual is denounced to the Praetor. The Praetor seeks information 
on the subject (secretiy), and if he has reason to think that the police 
have been right in their suspicions, he " admonishes " the suspected 
person not to conduct himself in a manner calculated to give rise to 
further suspicions. Thenceforward it is the duty of the agents of 
public security to dog the steps of that man, and make themselves 
acquainted with all his habits, his haunts, and the persons whose 
society he frequents. Should his conduct seem to them to continue 
calculated to arouse suspicion, he is again reported to the Praetor. 
And if this denunciation should appear to be well founded, a con- 
demnation for " contravention of admonition " follows. After that, 
the Minister of the Interior may, on the proposal of the Praefect, 
sentence the individual in question to domiciito coatto — that is, 
condemn him to reside in any spot which may be assigned to him, for 
two years if the condemnation had been preceded by one admonition, 
and for five years if it had been preceded by two. And when those 
two or those five years are over, a new admonition may at once be 
inflicted on the culprit, followed by a new condemnation to domicilio 
coatto. So that, as Signer Franchetti remarks, " a man may thus be 
for ever exiled from his home and isolated from society." " It would 
seem," he continues, V that any Government furnished with so potent 
an arm would have the power, according to the manner in which it 
was used, either to devastate a province, or to restore it to security 
and prosperity." " If only a Government be well served by its agents," 
he observes, with this weapon in its hands, ** there is no crime so 
hidden that it cannot sooner or later discover the author of it, and no 
individual so high-placed that the authorities cannot strike him." 
And in truth the power thus given, though by no means greater than 
would be necessary for dealing with such a state of things as that in 
Sicily, is a terrible one. Let us now see how it has been used. The 
demand of new and exceptional powers made by the late Ministry was 
refused by the Chamber of Deputies. And the present Ministry has, 
besides pouring troops into the island, which it is of course constitu- 
tionally competent to do, strained the powers accorded to it by the 
law to a point somewhat beyond the utmost letter allowed to it by 
strict legality, as I shall have occasion to show more particularly 
presently. We will now see how it has employed the very formidable 
power which the law has placed in its hands. 

The ''Mafia " and " Omertci '' in Sicily. 167 

I quote again from Signor Franchetti : " The lists of the nume- 
rous persons * admonished ' and sent to domicilio coatto in the city of 
Palermo and its environs are, like those in the other parts of Sicily, 
filled in great part with the names of the petty> thieves, the delin- 
quents of minor importance, and all that small fry of culprits which 
in every country is led to a life of irregularity by poverty or idleness — 
a class of persons troublesome rather than dangerous to society, but 
which may be rendered dangerous by the application to them of such 
punishments. If, on the other hand, there are not wanting some 
names of dangerous assassins of the lower classes, rare indeed are the 
names of those leaders of the mafia^ the organisers of crime, enriched 
by enforcing their mastery on others, and who have in many cases 
become, by a system of terrorism, the absolute despots of an entire 
commune. And in these lists there is an almost entire absence of 
the names of those tyrants belonging to a higher sphere, who are the 
cause, the beginning, and the foundation of the vast system of san- 
guinary violence which oppresses the country. There is ,some secret 
force which protects their persons, and supports their influence, 
against whomsoever it may be, and especially against public 

This is a most tremendous charge against the Government of the 
day, as well as against the authorities in the island. But siurely the 
" force " of which Signor Franchetti speaks is not so very secret a 
force. He has himself in another passage of his book spoken of the 
fact that a portion of the sums levied by associations of malefactors 
in the shape of black-mail or free passes, and the like, goes to secure 
protection for the criminals in high quarters and even at Rome, It is 
wholly impossible to believe for an instant that the mafiosi " in frock 
coats and white gloves," who are notorious to every man in the 
island, can never incur even the suspicion of the police to such a 
degree as to produce an " admonition." As Signor Franchetti him- 
self observes, there can be no crime so hidden that the system of 
** admonition," and the organised espionage on which it is based, 
would not avail to discover it. And it is to be observed that with 
the using of this tremendous weapon no difficulties of legal process 
can interfere. Witnesses will not speak ; juries will not convict ; 
convictions are impossible. But all this matters but little to the 
magistrate who can proceed by " admonition " and domicilio coatto I 

Justice, says the same author, goes with her eyes bandaged 
and ears stopped up, groping in search of criminals and assassins, of 
whom all the world, save she alone, knows perfectly well where they 
are and what they are doing. Her agents are inefficient, or they 

i68 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

betray her. Cases might be cited in which the carabineers (an armed 
police force) have been beating the mountains and valleys under the 
snow and rain, while the brigand they are in search of has been tran- 
quilly passing his winter in Palermo, and by no means always secretly. 
We remember the revelations of Mr. Rose when he returned from 
his sojourn among the brigands \ how the brigand chief Leoni knew 
all that was passing respecting him and his victim at Palermo ; how 
he was informed even of the proposals discussed and the plans 
formed by the members of the victim's own family in his own house ! 
In short, that the authorities are systematically betrayed by their own 
agents is abundantly clear and undeniable. 

Yet a majority of the Chamber of Deputies was found to declare 
that no exceptional powers were needed for the extirpation of bri- 
gandage and lawlessness from the island. It is true that the vote in 
question was in a great measure dictated, not by any consideration as 
to the question whether any such powers were needed or not needed, 
but simply by eagerness to use the opportunity which presented itself 
for the ousting of the then Ministry from their places. But the 
refusal of all such powers to the executive was violently supported by 
the Sicilian deputies themselves, and by those who thought that Sicily 
should be for the Sicilian, and governed by " Sicilian ideas." The 
misfortune of that vote has been that the country has been ruled by 
a Ministry who came into power pledged against the adoption of any 
exceptional measures in Sicily. It is a curious fact also, and one of 
wide significance, that the "Liberal," that is, as we should say. 
Radical Ministry, which is in opposition to the " Moderates," or, as 
we should say. Conservatives — the Liberal Ministry finds its supporters 
mainly in the south, and their opponents in the north. So that, while 
travelling round the Chamber from " right " to " left," you are also, 
taking the matter roughly and in general, moving from north to 
south. Thus, even independently of the fact of their having com- 
mitted themselves to the task of ruling Sicily without having recourse 
to any exceptional means, they cannot afford to lose the support of 
the Sicilian deputies, and of all the Neapolitan sympathisers with 
them, who have a constitutional objection to adding to the power of 
the law. 

From what has been said it will have been understood that the 
notion common in Italy, and probably universal to the north of the 
Alps, that the mafia and brigandage are two names for one and the 
same thing, is erroneous. Brigandage is only one of the forms in 
which the mafia shows itself. The brigand chief is perhaps the 
most perfect product and manifestation of the spirit of the mafia^ 

The ''Mafia " and " Omertd " in Sicily. 1 69 

because he liv^s in the most constant and open defiance of and 
hostility to the law ; because the audacity needed for his pursuits is 
likely to cap the audacity of others engaged in less hazardous trades; 
and because he is consequently more able to inspire fear, which is 
the base and foundation on which the entire superstructiure of 
the mafia rests. The whole social life of Sicily is pervaded and 
fashioned by the mafia ; brigandage is only the culminating blossom 
of the plant. It is the manifestation of it which we naturally 
hear most of on this side of the Alps, which most strikes the imagi- 
nation, and most concerns those who travel, or would wish to travel, 
in the island. But for the inhabitants, and as regards the hope and 
possibility of reclaiming and regenerating the island in future, 
brigandage is by no means the most important feature of the evil. 
Nor is it, or rather ought it to be, by a very great deal, the most 
difficult to deal with. 

The specialty of brigandage properly so called, as it exists in 
Sicily, is that those who are engaged in it follow the occupation pro- 
fessionally, and do so in organised bands. The latter quality dis- 
tinguishes the brigand from the ordinary malefactor, such as he may 
be found in other communities; the former marks the distinction 
between him and the bulk of the Sicilian population, who live their ordi- 
nary lives in subjection to, or availing themselves of, the power of the 
mafia. The entirety of this, it is true, is founded and rests on murder 
in the background, never far distant, and always ready to come to 
the front, as has been shown. And, inasmuch as the brigand is a 
skilled practitioner of murder, and always ready to undertake it, it 
very frequently occurs that his services are put in requisition by those 
who have need to recur to that ultima ratio of Sicilian society. In 
fact, nothing would more efficiently tend to confer consideration and 
respectability on a capo mafioso than the known fact that he had such 
social relations with a brigand chief as should promptly and surely 
place the latter at his orders. All brigands, therefore, are mafiosi, but 
not all mafiosi brigands. 

The brigand has no other profession, and he always recognises the 
authority of his chief. He not only has no other profession, but he 
makes no attempt at pretending to have any other. And for this 
reason, despite the fact that no Sicilian will help Justice in her effort 
to capture and punish him, it is far more possible to compass his 
destruction than to root out any other form of the mafia. Thus, 
what little has been done for the repression of crime in the island 
has almost entirely consisted in hunting down the bands of brigands. 
They fight; and they occasionally, therefore, are got rid of by the 

1 70 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

expeditious process of shooting them down in fair fight with the 
troops. It is the only way in which they are satisfactorily got rid of. 
For if the brigand has the good fortune to fall into the hands of 
his good friends the police, and the courts, and the juries, he is 
tolerably sure of escaping conviction. And if, far impossible^ he 
were convicted, he is quite sure of being allowed to return to his 
occupation after a longer or shorter period of seclusion, if he do not 
escape from prison at an earlier date. The Government returns from 
the different establishments of " hulks " mention the case of one pri- 
soner serving his sixth confinement for life. Five times, therefore, he 
has either escaped or been pardoned. And inasmuch as the sentence 
of imprisonment for life is not awarded save for murder (and very 
often not for that), five perhaps valuable lives have been sacrificed for 
the sake of preserving this one worthless one ! 

The only chance, therefore, of finally getting rid of a brigand is 
that he should be killed in fight with the troops. And such an end 
of him is not so distasteful to Sicilian ideas, or so likely to provoke 
indignation and hostility on the part of any survivors, as the smallest 
interference with the real fundamental principles of the national 
institution of the mafia. Probably the inhabitants of the district on 
which he preyed may have some grudge against him ; but they know 
better than to expect that his untimely end will in any degree liberate 
them from the tyranny and black-mail to which they have been 
subject. Uno avulso, non deficit alter! Probably his first lieutenant 
may be promoted to his place, if he is a man of sufficient courage, 
audacity, and resource. If not, the band will probably be amalga- 
mated with that flourishing in an adjoining district. 

But the main point in which brigandage comes into contact with 
the general life of the island and the non-professional brigand portion 
of the population, is by the commission of the crime which the law 
calls manutenzione, i,e, the harbouring, concealing, and giving aid and 
comfort to malefactors. For this, as might be readily supposed from 
the general social conditions in the island, is a very common offence, 
and one which is common in all classes of society. It has been 
shown — and, indeed, needs very little showing — how great an increase 
of consideration and social standing must accrue to the noblest and 
wealthiest landed proprietor in such a condition of things and of 
feelings as has been described, from having a professional murderer 
at his beck and call. But the services which such men can render 
must, as is natural, be repaid at need. It was only the other 
day that all the papers had an account of the detection of one of the 
leading proprietors in the south of the island in the act of sheltering 

The ''Mafia " and " Omertd " in Sicily. 1 7 1 

and protecting some criminals, steeped neck-deep in blood, of whom 
the troops were in search. Of the detection of the wealthy patrician 
in question much was heard ; but nothing has been heard since of 
any results from that detection. 

Now it will be sufficiently clear, from what has been said, that any 
Government have, in any attempt to reclaim Sicily and place it on the 
path, however long that path may promise to be, by which it may 
return to the prosperity which it once possessed, an exceedingly 
arduous and thorny task before them. The present Government, and 
especially Bacon Nicotera, in whose department, as Minister for 
Home Affairs, the matter lies, while professedly adhering to the 
factious vote which refused to their predecessors all exceptional 
powers for dealing with the evil under consideration, have themselves, 
as was hinted towards the beginning of this paper, exceeded the limits 
of the power conceded by the law in a very striking measure, which 
was adopted on the last day of April. There was in the island a 
special body of police callejd mtliti a cavallo, whose duty was that of 
a mounted police. They did not live in barracks, nor form a regiment, 
but every man lived in his own house, and the special object and in- 
tention of them was to secure a body of men who should be 
thoroughly acquainted with the localities and the inhabitants of them — 
an object, indeed, which was thoroughly attained. Well ! On the 
30th of April last, in every province throughout the island, at the same 
day and hour, these men were called out as for a review. They were 
then quietly surrounded by bersaglieri^ a thoroughly trusty body of 
troops mainly recruited from the hills of Piedmont, who had received 
orders io have their fnuskets loaded. The Sicilian horsemen were then 
ordered to dismount, and having done so, they were divided into 
three categories. Those in the first of these were told that their 
services would be accepted in a new body of mounted guards about 
to be formed upon a new system. Those in the second category 
were ordered to lay down their arms and strip off their uniform, 
which they did, then and there. They were then informed that the 
country had no further need of their services, and they might go 
whither they pleased. Those in the third category were similarly 
made to lay down their arms and pull oft' their uniform ; and it was 
then intimated to them that they were under arrest, preparatory to 
being sent to domicilio coat to ! This last step constituted the illegal 
part of these singularly dramatic proceedings, for the condemnation 
to domicilio coatto must legally be preceded by " admonition." It is 
probable, however, that the siiprema lex of the safety of the State will 
be held to justify this somewhat high-handed bit of despotism — ^pro- 

172 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

bable, also, that those who best know the whole state of the case 
will be inclined to think that the error of the minister consisted in 
retaining any portion of a body of men, a very great number of whom 
were notoriously in league with the criminals they were employed to 

In conclusion, it may, I think, be considered as proved beyond 
the possibility of doubt that there is not the remotest hope of re- 
claiming and regenerating the island without exceptional measures of 
a very drastic kind. There are not wanting thoughtful Italians who 
much misdoubt the efficacy of any measures whatsoever to effect the 
end in view. Such is not my own opinion. But the first thing needful 
would be a thorough understanding that Sicily was not to be governed 
according to Sicilian ideas. The wishes of the gentlemen sent by the 
island to the Italian Parliament might be usefully listened to in the 
perfect conviction that wisdom and sound policy would be found in 
a direction diametrically opposed to them. The next cardinal point 
would be that the work of government in all its branches, from the 
highest to the lowest, must be done by n on -Sicilians, preferably men 
from the north of Italy. And, thirdly, though the mere mention of 
such a thing would make the islanders wild with fury, an absolute and 
entire disarmament, under the sternest penalties, would be absolutely 





[Sylvanus Urban has received, along with the MS. of this article, the 
following letter, which he thinks may be properly printed as an introduction : — 

** Sir, — Having read with satisfaction the remarks on the Royal Academy in your 
Magazine of two months back, will you allow me to supplement them, and enforce 
public attention by the enclosed article, written a good many months ago, but 
laid aside till I could get better acquainted ^^ath the means and plans employed by 
Continental Governments in furtherance of the Fine Arts, and more particularly 
in providing public exhibitions of living art. Having for many years been in- 
timately acquainted with the inner life of our Academic body, — as Wordsworth 
says about his wife after marriage, having seen 

** * The very pulse of the machine,* — 

I am not surprised by the late three or four elections of Associates, and only feel 
more certain that the impracticable institution should be treated to a little plain 
dealing. If, since the opening of the Grosvenor, the Academy is more determined 
to confine itself to genre and mediocrity, if still another new Exhibition is being 
organised in London, surely the time is come for the proposal with which I 
conclude, without waiting for information regarding Continental systems, which 
probably would suit us very little. — Yours in confidence, &c."] 

THE Royal Academy, once located in Somerset House, bribed to 
go out by the Government giving them the half of the National 
Gallery, and again bribed to quit by the gift of half of Old Burlington 
House, goes on at the present day as it began a hundred and eleven 
years ago, with a constituency of forty, boasting of a limited eleemo- 
synary education, and appropriatnig the emoluments of the central 
exhibition of the annual productions of our arts. 

During this period, how great has been the development in every 
other institution, political, commercial, scientific, literary, and artistic ! 
The art of water-colour painting has risen into a perfection hitherto 
unknown in history, and two representative societies have had to fight 
their way unaided into independence. The number of able pro- 
fessional artists in the section of painters in oil, as well as the number 
of purchasers and collectors, has increased incalculably. The estab- 
lishment of a department of Science and Art, under the Committee of 
Council on Education, has created an Art-college and Museum at 

1 74 The GentlematCs Magazine. 

South Kensington, having minor schools and colleges all over these 
islands. In the London season and throughout the kingdom, there 
are now nearly a hundred exhibitions open annually. Towards this 
vast spread and establishment of taste and knowledge, the Academy 
has uniformly turned its back; no step has ever been taken, no advice 
given, not a guinea spent, not even a smile bestowed. It has done 
nothing but gather the annual proceeds, now amounting to about 
;£'2o,ooo, and guard with a kind of ferocity the degree, as we may 
properly call it, of R.A. from being extended beyond the forty, in 
which number were at first comprehended, according to John Pye, 
" flower painters, seal engravers, die sinkers, watch chasers, and enamel 

For a long time general indifference to matters of taste, and the 
prestige of this pet foundation of George III., who was not very bright, 
did not see how the apples got into the dumpling, and who no doubt 
thought an Academy was an educational establishment simply, caused it 
to remain unquestioned except from personal motives. The Discourses 
of the first president, Reynolds, followed by Fuseli and others, gave it 
an intellectual position. Now its position is entirely different Ever 
since the Government tried to serve high art by the decoration of 
the Houses of Parliament, and found to the astonishment of the 
country that there existed among us fifty young artists of educated 
ability, nearly all utterly unknown to the Academy, and since the 
establishment of Schools under a Department of Art has raised the 
standard of ornamental taste both in workmen and the public, the 
Royal Academy remaining as if deaf and blind, only alive to the 
interests of its pocket, the old respect towards the body has been alto- 
gether changed. Parliamentary inquiries have taken place without 
result, the Academicians claiming in fact to be the Queen's servants, 
like the players of the time of Queen Elizabeth. And in May last. 
Sir C. W. Dilke called the attention of the House to the neglect of 
the Royal Academy to attend to the recommendations of the previous 
Royal Commission, that of 1863. 

These recommendations were, we must say, of a futile character, 
and the Royal Academy only acts in character by neglecting pressure; 
Sir C. W. Dilke's motion produced no effect; he seems to have had 
no intelligent adviser, and might have saved himself the trouble of 
doing as he did. We believe he thinks so now. At the Social 
Science Congress at Liverpool last year, Mr. Watkiss Lloyd read a 
very good paper on " The Influence of Academies upon the Life of a 
Nation," characterising them as Old Men of the Sea, whose business 
was purely selfish; and Mr. Aitchison, who followed, spoke of them as 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 175 

make-believes, after a generation or two had developed new conditions 
of art-life ; but neither said a word of recommendations or advices to 
our existing Academy. It would be exhilarating indeed to see the 
President and Charles Landseer, Pickersgill, Horsley, and Ward- 
throwing up their exclusiveness, and opening their arms to half a 
dozen men of intellect and artistic power we could name, who make 
no secret of looking upon them as mere respectable philistines. 

A long acquaintance with the private history of arts and artists 
in London has disclosed to the writer so many discrepancies and 
humiliations to which the medium painter is liable, that he comes to the 
conclusion that some public measure will be carried shortly to mitigate 
and remove them. A few years ago, the cautious parent feared his 
son's attaching himself to so precarious a way of life. Now it is entirely 
different ; the painter is a " prosperous gentleman." His antecedents, 
too, have ceased to be unmentionable. He looks without awe and 
with some amusement on the professional wind-bag with honorary 
initials after his name, or at the specialist whose limited beat is his 
world, whose talk is of oxen, and who trades in hops. Imagine the 
despair of the cultivated aspirant when he finds that such men hold 
his fate in their hands, by excluding his pictures from being seen by 
the public. 

But the interior of the Academy is by no means a " happy 
family,'* nor is it a compact body opposing progress like the Romish 
priesthood. The three or four supreme painters, members of that 
body, who have this year exhibited at the Grosvenor, are entirely 
above the close-borough feeling. They are universally respected ; 
but the very worst artist within the pale acts as if he were superior to 
the greatest painter in England without it, and this action on his part 
is sanctioned by the attitude of the public and of the great majority 
of the profession. Necessity is too constraining; year after year, 
with bitterness in his heart, the middle-class artist grins and bears his 
cuffing ; he must exhibit somewhere — if possible in Burlington House ; 
some lucky day he may get a step further ! Hope, that " springs 
eternal in the (artistic) breast," destroys his independence as a man 
and his bias as an artist. * A few years ago old Mr. Linnell took a 
different course, with a better result; the tyrant, in his case at least, 
being found a craven when manfully treated. His largest picture, 
and one of the best he had done for several years, was rejected, — a 

' Every miscellaneous corporate body, we must acknowledge, has a mediocre 
average standard. Are not Praed and Moultrie the superlative poets to Eton men? 
Yet the first is only a mixture of punning and twaddle, and the last has the stalest 
flavour of Byron. 

1 76 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

treatment he had not experienced, for half a lifetime. What was the 
reason ? A few months before he had been offered and had refused 
admission into the Academy ! He had waited for forty years, now 
he did not need distinction, so he waived the honour, and it was 
understood that Mr. Horsley, the member- elect, who is always put 
forward prominently on the hanging committee, had been made the 
instrument of punishing him. Mr. Linnell did not submit quietly ; 
the picture had been conditionally sold for a very large sum, and the 
frightened purchaser grumbled ; Mr. Linnell both wrote to the Times 
and published a pamphlet, and he has been free from a similar 
occurrence since. This rejection of pictures is a way the chartered 
institution has of acknowledging good advice. A year ago the works 
of one of our most cultivated landscape painters were refused exhibi- 
tion. This had never happened before ; he had been welcomed for 
years, but he now learned that he had been taken for the >vriter of 
certain strictures lately appearing in the papers. He had not been 
the writer, and had been punished by mistake ! Mr. Armitage's 
arrogant letter in the Times followed, apprising the public that he 
had a right to turn out any work he chose, and that he meant to 
exercise it, which made him quite a hero within the ranks. 

This right to turn out any work on unstated grounds has some- 
times been the death of the artist. The reader may perhaps remember 
(we speak of 1876) a very tall uninteresting bronze figure of Lord 
Lawrence, a figure with narrow shoulders and narrower pelvis, 
done Avith the least possible labour, to go out to India, by Mr. 
Woolner, R.A., occupying the place of honour, or at least the most 
conspicuous place, opposite the entrance. One of the noblest works 
yet realised by English sculpture, the " Valour and Cowardice," by 
the late Alfred Stevens, part of the national Wellington monument 
for St. Paul's, stood against one of the angles of the apartment; and 
the splendid group of "St. George and the Dragon," a work of unex- 
ampled dramatic and artistic skill, was placed in one of the pcture 
galleries. But another large work of great excellence, I am told, 
because I must premise I have not seen it, the work of three entire 
years, by Mr. Earle, a sculptor who once modelled the Queen, and 
on that account was then nearly elected into the Academy, was 
rejected. Mr. Earle's death, which occurred a few weeks after the 
opening of the exhibition, was stated in the papers to have been the 
result of the frightful disappointment of having the great work of his 
life, his three years* labour, deprived of the chance of public recogni- 
tion. This has never been denied ; it has been confirmed ; his widow 
has been placed on the civil pension list. How pleasant for the 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 177 

sculptor commanding on the occasion, or for any other man, to feel 
conscious of having assisted in such a result ! 

All that has yet been said is only corroborative of allegations often 
made and difficult to prove, although well known in private circles ; 
but we would go much further : we have much more to say ; and to 
speak with brevity and clearness, let us divide our argument 

I St. Is the Royal Academy now, in its relations to the fine art 
professions, really what it was intended at its establish- 
ment to be ? 

2nd. Does it advantageously and honourably represent the in- 
terests involved ? 

3rd. Is gratuitous education now justifiable ? 

4th. Is the Royal Academy like Old Sarum ? 

To begin with the first of these questions. The Arts represented 
by the Academy are Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, and Engraving. 

At the time of the institution of the Academy, the failure of the 
" Society " which had preceded it, a body containing a great many 
sign-painters and others having little claim to the character of artists, 
caused the advisers who prepared the laws of the proposed "Academy" 
to draw a limit — a limit, however, supposed to be large enough 
to receive all the real artists living, and which was really larger than 
necessary, as the first set numbered but thirty-six, leaving four vacan- 
cies to be filled. 

The first exhibition (1769, before the Academy occupied rooms 
in Somerset House) contained only 136 works, including oil pictures, 
"drawings," architectural designs, sculptures, models in wax, &c. 
Compare this with the exhibition of 1876, which contained 1,522 
works, although two Water- Colour Societies and many others were 
open ! The sculptures alone numbered 165, twenty-nine more than 
the entire show no years ago. Architecture contained 117, nearly 
as many as the entire first year's show. In water-colour there were 
about 240. The majority of the remainder, roughly calculated, were 
paintings in oil. So irresistibly have our arts like our trade developed, 
in spite of official neglect and Academic discouragement, especially 
in water-colour painting and landscape ! 

Let us now see how the membership of this limited body is at 
present divided : beginning with landscape. The revenue of the 
Academy results from the exhibition, and it appears from Mr. 
Dawson's pamphlet, lately published, that our landscape painters 
fiunish nearly a third of the subject pictures. The gentlemen who paint 
these have been the least submissive under the severe treatment of 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1760. N 

178 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

late years, and we must admit landscape is a popular pleasure with 
us, and perhaps the most successful division of our school of painting; 
healthy landscape, that is to say, landscape inspired by a love of 
Nature. * Yet there is not one landscape painter in the whole list of 
members ! There is one painter of shipping and sea subjects who is 
partially a landscapist, and there are now three Associates ; these 
are all. 

Will any intelligent person affirm that Mr. Leader, whose works 
are among the most attractive in the exhibitions — we do not men- 
tion Linnell, because he refused the membership he had waited in 
vain for during forty years ; Mr. Mark Anthony, whose noble effects 
and skilful realisation of nature we used to see for many years ; Mr. 
Alfred Hunt, a man- of rare accomplishments and refined study ; Mr. 
Brett, possessed of such powers of imitation of texture and surface 
as were perhaps never seen before; Messieurs McWhirter; J. L. 
Pickering; Walton; Macallum; Leslie Thomson; A. D. Reid; Sir R. 
Collier; Adams; Fisher; Aumonier; Linnell, jun.; Raven; or many 
others we could name — will any critic affirm that Mr. Vicat Cole 
and Mr. Oakes are superior to and should be separated from all or 
any of these? Mr. Cook is the only sea-painter within the pale. 
Should he be distinguished beyond J. G. Naish, W. L. Wyllie, Henry 
Moore, E. Hayes, C. Hunter, and many others ? 

When first instituted, the Academy actually contained seven land- 
scape painters,^ not counting Gainsborough, although he exhibits 
"landscips" in the first year's show, to which we have already 
alluded. Now, when the English school of landscape is, in point of 
fact, the first in the world, when the little influence we hav6 on the 
continent of Europe has been and is exclusively a landscape influence, 
and the professors have increased a hundredfold, there are but three 
Associates ! It would almost seem that the amiable body had been 
trying till lately, when it elected three probationary gentlemen, to 
destroy the most thoroughly English branch of painting we possess. 
This state of things is the more absurd when we find three animal 
painters in the body. Mr. Davis, one of these, has indeed some 

* The writer regrets to see several of our ablest critics, two of them at least, 
estimating the artificial-poetical ** art for art's sake'' species of landscape our 
neighbours practise, above our own. They know better than that in France ! C9rot 
could paint a picture daily without fresh study or specific motive ; but he got no 
attention till the eccentric blond anglais^ cdebrated by Alphonse Karr, bought 
his picture. One of the best writers in Paris has called Courbe's work ^^une espice 

de blague J*^ 

* These were : G. Barret, J. Richards, Paul and Thomas Sandby, Dom. 
Serres, IR. Wilson, and F« Zuccarelli. In an exhibition of only 136 works there 
were 40 landscapes. 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 179 

merit as a landscape painter, although that is not his speciality. We 
have been told that there was great dissatisfaction expressed at Vienna 
when the International Exhibition was held there, that there were no 
pictures sent from this country save those of the members of the 
Academy and their friends, and, consequently, scarcely any land- 

Let us next examine the portrait painters, of whom there are 
seven or eight, although their works are in all respects the least inter- 
esting to the public, the truth being that the best portraits, or rather, 
we should say, the only good portraits we now have, are those done 
by our greater historical and poetical painters. Watts, Millais, and 
others. Of the Academician portrait painters Sant is the only one 
who gives us attractive pictures, because he paints ladies. Mr. Wells 
is a life-size portrait painter only because photography extinguished 
his miniature practice \ and his keen instinct for municipal dignitaries 
deprives his works of any interest. Sir Francis Grant, Sir W. Boxall, 
J. P. Knight, Richmond, and Thorbum are all advancing in years; 
but in their best time they did nothing to be remembered, except 
the last, in his miniature period. As for Sir W. Boxall, who has 
done nothing we can recall, he would never have been made 
Director of the National Gallery had he not been a member of the 

The portraits in the same exhibition most worth looking at, 
were by Ouless ; Eddis ; E. S. Gregory ; Miss Starr ; Miss M. Stuart 
Wortley ; J. Archer ; L. Dickinson ; F. A. Philips ; with some from 
Edinburgh. There were others by some of our best painters; but these 
will suflFice to mention at present, especially as portraiture no more 
occupies pubUc attention. It is no longer what it was in the meridian 
period of the art, nor even in the day of Reynolds. Costume is against it 
now even more than then, and the veracity of the sun is preferable to 
the expensive chances of art ; male portraits share with monumental 
statuary the derision of the civilised world, except in the hands of 
some of our great historical painters.* 

* Some readers may be surprised at this assertion at the present time, when 
there is so much talk about the portraits of Re)molds and Gainsborough, dingy 
mezzotints of them even bringing exorbitant prices. The fact, however, is patent. 
Here is a statement from Mr. E. Edwards, **On the Fine Arts in England," 
1840 : "The predominance of portraits in the annual exhibitions is indeed enor- 
mous. From a return in classes of the number of works exhibited during Un years 
ending with 1833, it appears that the number of historical and poetical works 
together, was 1,398; while the number of portraits was 5,093, or nearly 4 to i. 

See also Parliamentary Inquiry, 1836. Mr. George Rennie is asked: <* Have 
you ever heard it made an object of remark by foreign artists, the immense number 


i8o The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Take sculptors next There are seven in the Academy, Members 
and Associates, the majority of whom are actual types of mediocrity, 
whose chefs (Tosuvre we ask for in vain. Since the death of Foley and of 
Alfred Stevens, who was indeed the greatest sculptor yet bom in Eng- 
land, or second only to Flaxman in amenity and purity, the best English 
sculptor living is John Bell, the sculptor of the " Eagle-slayer," the 
Crimean Monument in Waterloo Place, &c.; and the most versatile 
sculptor in full practice among us at present is the naturalised 
German, J. E. Boehm, neither of whom are in the body. More than 
that, to keep them out at the last election when a sculptor was eligible, 
a Mr. Woodington, of whom we can hear nothing after diligent inquiry 
and consultation of catalogues, was unanimously elected ! It is said 
that when the Academic porter went next day to intimate his election 
with the official letter in his hand, Mr. Fred. Will. Woodington, as 
this gentleman's name now appears in the list of Associates, would 
not believe him, and threatened to kick tha messenger down stairs as 
an impostor ! 

This amount of back-stair influence and injustice is, perhaps, a 
revelation to many ; but in the election of another man, a sculptor, 
Mr. E. B. Stephens, the stupidity of the body proved itself equal to 
the injustice. Mr. E. B. Stephens was actually elected in mistake 
for Mr. Alfred Stevens. The sculptors at the meeting, who did not 
want so superior a competitor, winked at the ignorance of the painters 
and architects, and defrauded the most able man in the country of 
his election. Such are instances of the forking of professional 
jealousy or trade competition in a limited body like the Academy. 

Architects, — ^There are six architect members, all, properly speaking, 
leading men in their profession. But as architects have an Institute 
of their own, their reception into the Academy is to be considered 
only as a compliment At the same time, the narrowness of the 
number makes even this an injustice. We fancy not one of these 
six gentlemen would say that the elder Pugin or Owen Jones should 
have been excluded ; that the learned architect whose researches on 
the Parthenon gave him a European reputation would not have done 
honour to the Academy ; or that Messrs. Butterfield ; Waterhouse ; 
Burges ; Sedden ; Professor Donaldson ; G. Godwin ; Bodley; Champ- 
neys ; G. Aitchison ; and R. P. Spiers, should not be welcomed. But 
to mention even these is, we feel, an impropriety, there being many 

of portraits in our Exhibition?— It is a very common and very just remark, but 
the Royal Academy exists by the profits of exhibition, and there is no class of art 
that brings more money to the doors than the portraits." Now (1877) the tables 
are turned indeed. 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. i8i 

other architects of cultivated artistic taste amongst us with whose 
names we are less familiar. The evils of the narrow favouritism, 
moreover, have been severely felt by the country. Wilkins was 
employed to build the National Gallery solely because he was a 
member and in the confidence of the Academy, and spoilt the "finest 
site in Europe." 

Engravers, — The action of the Academy on the art of engraving 
has been acknowledged even by itself to have been unjustifiable. 
At the time of the establishment by George III. the principal engraver 
was Sir Robert Strange, a Jacobite gentleman of family. His Jaco- 
bitism did not stand in his way at Court, as the king knighted him ; 
but the combining artists were mostly very plain John Bulls, and Mr. 
Dalton, who dictated their plans a good deal — a busybody who had 
the ear of the king — having a feud with Strange, managed, along with 
Sir W. Chambers, to exclude the knight by excluding his art. It was 
affirmed that engraving, not being an inventive art, ought to be 
excluded, although in every Academy in Europe it has been and is 
still highly honoured. It is the democratic art, and permeates the 
community; besides, from Diirer and Mantegna to John Burnet, many 
engravers have been inventors. That some personal feeling lay 
beneath the proceeding was proved by the reception of Bartolozzi as 
a painter \ and the effect has been that not one of our greatest 
engravers has been in the body. The Academy have taken off their 
proscriptive veto, but it is now too late ; we have few or no line 
engravers — our publishers employ Frenchmen. 

Historic or Poetic and Genre Painters, — To go over these, who 
indeed overpower all other divisions in the Academy, so much so that 
they outnumber all the rest collectively, might be a little invidious. 
At the same time, gentlemen occupying a public position, and arro- 
gating authority above their fellows, must submit to be criticised. But 
let us accept them all, the halt and the lame, and even the blind, firom 
the elders who may have once painted a good picture or two, to the 
late elections of Messrs. Storey, Stone, Burgess, and Morris, which show 
us that the Academy is setting its face like flint against the " poetical 
fellows," and clinging more and more to modest mediocrity. Let 
us accept them, although any picture connoisseur or exhibition specu- 
lator would be pretty sure to say, 

I cannot march through Coventry with these, that's flat ! 

But let us at the same time see who are our best -figure-painters, 
freely acknowledging that there is a considerable sprinkling of these 

among the thirty-nine or forty^one Members and Associates. ., There 

J ' * > •• • > 

• V • . » 

1 82 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

axe several men, indeed, whose names would brighten this page, 
without whom and the architects, the Academy would be shovelled 
into the dust-bin of the past to-morrow. Two of these, we must 
premise, were bagged in the worst spirit and with the worst intention. 
The late Mr. J. F. Lewis was elected in order to withdraw him from 
the Water-Colour Society to the injury of that body,^ and Sir J. 
Gilbert also. Neither, however, has ever exhibited water-colour 
pictures at the Academy, and the last named still continues his con- 
tributions to the Water-Colour Society. 

In the Academy, then, there are a number of our best painters; 
but our school is now so rich and varied, that any limitation, 
although the numbers were doubled or trebled, would still remain 
unjust. We have seen how it was with the landscape men, let us 
now notice in the same way the figure painters — " outsiders," to use 
the slang of the Academic body — most important in making the 
exhibition of last year the success it was. The season of 1876 will, 
perhaps, be marked in our art annals as the year of the appearance 
of Alfred Stevens's "Valour and Cowardice," even in presence 
of the triumphs of Leighton, Poynter, Millais, and others. But we 
have already spoken of sculptors as well as landscape painters; our 
business is now with figure painters, and with these few exceptional 
men, the most important by far were all " outsiders : " Mr. L. Fildes, 
whose " Widower " was only inferior to his " Casuals at the Work- 
house Door " of last year ; Mr. Gow, whose " Relief of Leyden " 
was certainly one of the few historical pictures done in this country 
equal to the best of the French school ; Mr. F. R. Barnard, whose 
" Saturday Night " ought to be mentioned only after Hogarth ; Mr. 
Albert Moore, whose small contribution called " Beads " supported 
his character as a poetic painter ; Mr. H. Wallis, whose " Outside a 
Prison in Italy " and " Oasis in the Desert " were universally admired, 
— the painter whose " Death of Chatterton" would have been acknow- 
ledged many years ago by a properly constituted body able to confer 

* At the time of Mr. Lewis's election the Academic law was that no artist could 
retain membership with any other Art Society if elected into the Academy. He was 
thus induced to leave the Water-Colour Society, of which body he was at the time 
President. The amiable Academy followed the same policy with the Incorporated 
Society of British Artists, of Suffolk Street. The Council offered David Roberts 
a membership if he withdrew, which he did, much to the loss of the Society of 
British Artists. We have been told that the same mode of procedure was fol- 
lowed with Stanfield, who was also in that body. Mr. Mark Anthony was induced 
similarly to leave; but the Council repudiated the promise of the busybody mem- 
bers who had advised Mr. Anthony, and he has not only never been elected, but has 
been repeatedly insulted at the exhibition time. 


The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 183 

d^rees ; Mr. V. Prinsep, in various works ; Mr. Herkomer, we were 
going to say, but we hesitate, because sentimental superstition, as in 
the pictures "At Death's Door" and " Der Bittgang," is the basest of 
all pictorial motives; Mr. B. Riviere and Mr. H. Hardy, we might say, 
only these gentlemen go in for figures with four feet rather. But we 
find we ought to extend this list for pages, and mention the works of 
Messieurs R.W. Macbeth; Boughton; G.Smith; A. Johnstone; H. 
R. Robertson; C. Calthorp; F. Hall; L. J. Pott; H. H. Cauty; 
J. Clark ; Mrs. Ward; Miss Macgregor — a goodly array of names, that 
might be much prolonged. 

Compare all these with the annual supply firom the large majority 
of the R.A.S who repeat themselves year after year, and it is clear 
as day on which side of the page the vast majority of our best artists 
are to be increasingly found. Nowadays a painter finds a congenial 
subject, does one distinguished work, and repeats himself or fades 
down all the rest of his life. If he is received into the small privi- 
leged body, there he is till he is seventy years of age, a mark for 
satire in print and out of print We refrain firom naming names, 
especially of veterans, but we must say this — ^because the Academy 
pockets all the money received without the slightest gratitude — if it 
confined its exhibitions to the works of its own members, there are. 
only five or six who could save the institution from being bankrupt 
in a couple of years. 

Mr. Neville Grenville, in the debate on Sir C. W. Dilke's motion, 
said, " the discussion that had arisen must do the Academy good. 
He wished to mention that there was a growing practice of the best 
pictures not being sent to the Academy," and in illustration of this 
referred to those by Mr. Holman Hunt and Miss Thompson. But 
he might have gone very much further. Some of our very noblest 
artists will not venture to send — the hanging committee being so 
dangerous ! Others have sent year after year, and been systematically 
rejected firom personal feeling, or from being supposed to be inimical 
to the exclusive privileges of the body. Of course the Council or the 
hangers are not infallible ; it would be absurd to expect them to be 
nearly always right ; but what we must inflexibly demand is that they 
shall be unbiassed and honourable, neither of which, constituted as 
the Academy is, can they generally be. 

In the Fortnightly Review last year, we find an able writer, 
H. H. Statham, speaking out on the subject of the poor quahty of the 
works of the majority of the members. " It is time that a plain word 
should be said : that what is being everywhere spoken in the ear should 
be proclaimed firom the house-tops. The majority of ^tiie^wprks of 

,« 1. 

184 The Gentlematis Mdgazinc. 

Academicians which hang on the line are matters of contempt to 
everyone with sympathies above the most vulgar and commonplace 
ideas ; and now the educated public will no longer stand them ; so 
far from the Royal Academy being an influence for raising public 
taste, it is, in virtue of a large proportion of its members' works, an 
engine for debasing and vulgarising it" 

This is very strongly put^ but perhaps not too strongly. In this 
magazine, two months ago, Mr. C. Carr spoke out almost as plainly ; 
and if we consider the way in which the elections are' many times 
managed, the evil can only be remedied by a revolution. Take a 
few late elections of Associates as exemplifying to what lengths pro- 
fessional jealousy can go. We have already mentioned that Mr. 
F. W. Woodington, pf whom we can learn nothing, was elected to keep 
out Mr. Boehm. On the same night was elected Mr. Oakes, a land- 
scape painter, who has scarcely been before the public for ten years, 
in order to keep out Mr. P. Graham. If Mr. Oakes should be in 
the Academy, and we think he should, Mr. P. Graham ought to have 
been elected fifteen years ago. A third man elected was Mr. Storey, 
whose production, a child having a dancing lesson, the reader may not 
have observed, in order to keep out Mr. V. Prinsep, and also because 
he lives in St. John's Wood, a locality principally celebrated for the 
demi-monde^ but likewise as the abode of a clique of artists who have 
a neck-and-neck race with the Scotchmen in the Academy for in- 
fluence at the elections ! Mr. P. Graham is a Scotchman; but why 
have the friends of Messrs. Boehm and Prinsep tried in vain for a 
series of years to carry them in? Because they belong to the 
Leighton faction, an increase of which, previous to next election 
of a President, all the mediocrity in the Academy is struggling 
against ! 

That it is of no use to try to adapt such a body to the wants of 
the country, in view of the vast number of our artists now, is made 
clear by the results of the inquiry of 1863. The President said that 
before the appointment of the Parliamentary Committee, "the Aca- 
demy had resolved to carry out important reforms, embracing the 
enlargement of the constituency ; " but afterwards, and this in 
acknowledgment of the recommendations of the Committee, he wrote 
officially: "With regard to the question of largely increasing the 
number of Associates, the Academy very warmly at first entered into 
the scheme, but they found that it was beset with many diflftculties. 
The Academy, seeking to avoid these difficulties " (which, however, 
are not even indicated), " and at the same time desiring to have it in 
their p^cogtise all remarkable talent outside the walls, have 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 185 

passed the following resolutions, which they hope will be satisfactory 
to Her Majesty's Government and the country. Resolved : — 

(I.) The members of the Royal Academy do not consider it expedient to 
increase the present number of Academicians. 

(II.) That the number of Associates be indefinite, but that there shall be a 
minimum of twenty to be always filled up. 

After the time and expense of a Parliamentary inquiry and blue- 
book, this was the result ! Next season no one thought more of the 
matter. The number of members was to remain the same ; the 
minimum of the probationary grade the same also ! There are now, 
however, of this objectionable class, made still more objectionable by 
the chances of their all getting into the Academy being reduced 
exactly in proportion to the enlargement of their own numbers — 
there are at present (fourteen years after the Parliamentary inquiry), 
instead of 20—26, and that is what the Academy hopes will satisfy 
the country, and calls " recognising all the talent outside the walls ! " 
The truth is, this extension is only the extension of an evil : an en- 
dowed body whose prime function is exhibition — a scheme for 
advertisement and sale with money taken at the .door — is not an 
Academy ; it is a trade monopoly. 

Having a general acquaintance with critics as well as artists, we 
happen to know the names at least of a good many men held in 
esteem by their brethren in the higher branches of painting, a 
number of them never sending to the Academy exhibition, and we can- 
not help thinking this phrase of " recognising all the talent outside 
the walls " is amiably said at those painters, and at others as well, the 
privileged body having an instinctive feeling that the majority of 
artists are its enemies. But let us make a list of some of the im- 
portant artists (figure painters), important either from what they have 
done or from their power and influence. We have already enume- 
rated fifty or sixty exhibitors of last year at Burlington House, on 
whose works the show mainly depended for its success, and the in- 
stitution consequently for its fmids. Let us add some who either 
did not send, or at least did not appear there, or have not yet been 
named ; Messieurs Armstrong, poetical and genre ; John Bell, 
sculptor ^ F. M. Brown, genre, historical \ F. W. Burton, historical. 
Director of the National Gallery ; Cruikshank, caricaturist, humorist ; 
Dawson senior, [sea and landscape painter ; Drummond, genre, his- 
torical. Director of the Scottish National Gallery ; Du Maurier, illus- 
trator ; W. Holman Hunt, sacred art ; Arthur Hughes, poetic and 
genre ; E, Bume Jones, poetical ; W. J. Inchbold, landscape ; Sir 

1 86 The GentlematCs Magazine. 

J. Noel Paton, poetical, historical ; William Morris, decorator ; ^ 
W. B. Richmond, poetical ; D. G. Rossetti, poetical ; Temiiel, his- 
torical, satirical ; W. Cave Thomas, historical, various ; W. B. Scott, 
historical, poetical; Spencer Stanhope, poetical; Sandys, portrait, 
poetical ; Claxton Marshall,* various ; Selous, historical ; Miss 
Elizabeth Thompson, battle painter ; Mrs. Jopling ; J. M. Whistler, 
etcher and painter. 

Such is a short list of our leading painters not exhibiting last 
season, from the writer's point of view, without, with one exception, 
including sculptors or architects, members of the Water-Colour 
Society or Institute, the Society of British Artists, or men with foreign 
names, as Legros, Leman, Tissot, Perugini. Let the reader con- 
sider well the majority of the names, and then say if he does not 
agree with us, that the assertion made by the Academy when it sets 
about adding six to the detested grade of Associates, that it " desires 
to recognise all the talent outside the walls," must be a conscious 
untruth ? To call a spade a spade, we may say it was a lie intended 
to act as an insult. Imagine it, too, signed by a second-rate artist 
as P.R.A. 1 Imagine a club of poets having the power to veto pub- 
lication, consisting of Beddoes, Praed, Harrison Ainsworth, Laman 
Blanchard, and " the poet Bunn," issuing a similar manifesto signed 
by Martin Farquhar Tupper as President ! 

2nd. Does the Academy advantageously and honourably repre- 
sent the interests involved ? This question is partly answered already, 
but still it may be well to inquire whether the members, and parti- 
cularly the office-bearers, realise the fact that they are not there 
solely for their own advantage. The President, we are bound to 
suppose, is, in the opinion of the Academicians, at the head of English 
art, the most accomplished man living in any of the professions 
represented, and so best able to appear as their representative in the 
sight of Europe. We are far from wishing to make any remarks of 
an offensive kind, and acknowledge him to be an unexceptionable 
gentleman in private life. But if our inquiry is to be good for any- 

* Mr. Morris, and two other gentlemen among the succeeding names in this 
list have taken important positions in the world of letters as poets. We do not 
recommend the Ars Poetica being incorporated with the arts of design in any 
'* Academy," but we think the possession of such mental cultivation and taste as 
are required by the poet the surest guarantee that his other works will have some 
value. They will possess a recognisable raison d'etre at least. 

* See an altar-piece, "Christ in the Tomb," in the South Kensington galleries, 
showing sonu of the noblest artistic qualities. We are not acquainted with this 
gentleman's other works. This alone, however, entitles him to appear in the 

The Royal Academy and ExkibUion. 187 

thing we must speak of the President as an artist, and we must do so 
honestly and earnestly, and we must therefore say of Sir Francis 
Grant that he is not in his proper place as the head of our national 
fine arts. He is indeed less an artist by nature and antecedents 
than an amateur. At his examination before the Committee cf 
Inquiry into the present position of the Royal Academy, March, 
1863, he answers the question if he is well acquainted with diat 
body ? — " Six months of the year I live out of London ; these are the 
months when the principal meetings of the Academy take place : ^ 
and again, when questioned as to die classes: '' I have never been a 
visitor in the life-school, because when in town my laboiu^ are so 
severe I am exhausted in the evening;" — exhausted by his dafly 
painting, a labour which exhausts other artists as well; and this touches 
the central reason why the eleemosynary teaching in the Ro]ral 
Academy classes has always been so badly attended to, though he 
does not seem to think of that Agsdn, he is asked : '' Do you think 
that the Academy might dispense with the Associate class ? " and 
answers: '' I have never considered that subject, and could scarcely 
give an opinion." — " Were you yourself accustomed to attend either 
the -life-school or the painting-school as a student?" — "Nol" We 
understand Sir Francis never even drew from the antique, and we 
remember one of the gentlemen sitting on the committee saying to 
the writer afterwards: '^ I thought of asking him if he considered his 
visiting the life-schopl as teacher would be of any use to the students, 
but politeness forbade." 

We hear it constantly said that Sir F. Grant has made an excellent 
President No doubt he has : but is this fact one to boast of? He 
fills the chair of Reynolds in these critical times, and his learning in 
the matter of art-history may be illustrated by various anecdotes, 
current both within and without the body. It is said, but we do not 
guarantee the precise truth of the details, that he had to read a letter 
at a Council meeting for fiirthering one of the Exhibitions of Old 
Masters, wherein some one offered a picture by Raphael. The 
"prince of painters" was named by his patronymic "Sanzia" 
" Well, gentlemen," added the President, ** we want the pictures of 
great masters, you know; as for Sanzio, I never heard of him. Some 
of you are a great deal better up in these matters than I am, but I 
don't think we want pictures by obscure men like that ! " Again, 
some one telling him that Mr. Horsley was painting the Queen and 
Prince Albert's portraits for the Adelphi, to go beside Banys laige 
works there: " Barry !" said the P.R.A.; " has Barry left off his 
architecture and been painting pictures ? " 

1 88 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

We may be reminded that the nomination of Sir F. Grant was a 
dernier ressort, after Landseer and Maclise had both refused the 
honour. But such refusal only shows that the office, the duties of 
which are mainly those of toast-master at the annual dinner, is repug- 
nant to the taste of men of genius. They should not be required to 
perform a duty any ostentatious fool might do better, the speeches in 
reply to the toasts showing generally a humiliating degree of igno- 
rance of art. 

This annual dinner itself, although it may have had a raison d*itre 
when institutedXshortly after the Academy itself, we suppose), now that 
English art is out of its minority — times have changed since the poet 
laureate had a suit of clothes and a butt of sack ahnually — is looked 
upon a little askance by our best painters, although the weaker 
brethren in the Academy hasten to it with awe and delight. I have 
even heard them commend the above anecdotes of their President's 
indifference to history as if they proved that an artist had nothing to 
do with " knowledge and learning and that sort of thing ! " so that 
we must not be surprised if the appetite of some of them fails under 
the agitating sense of honour ! On one occasion the writer had the 
felicity to be present, and heard the President, instead of discoursing 
concerning the " awful joys " and vast interests of perfect art and 
modern science, dwell upon the pleasure of following the hounds, a 
pleasure of the " upper ten." On that occasion the writer sat opposite 
two men, one of our greatest painters and a learned guest of the 
evening, and he still remembers the amused expression of their 
faces. But he remembers also meeting on the following day others he 
saw there, men of the typical R. A. class; he found them still walking 
with their chins in the air, plainly saying to themselves, " We are not 
mere artists; we are members of the Melton Mowbray hunt, who 
follow art to pass our time in town." 

Let us further observe the effect of the election into the Academy on 
the painters themselves, remembering that it is the goal of the ambition 
of family-men who paint endless " pot-boilers;" of all indeed who are 
not sustained by the higher motives. Every ordinary man whose 
intellect and hand work together, does his best at one culminating 
period of life, and cannot as a rule be expected to produce equally 
good and new works for a long period of years. Mr. Frith, for 
instance, rises from " Sherry, Sir 1 " a reminiscence of his father's 
barmaid, to the commanding skill of "Ramsgate Sands," but 
subsides again while still in the prime of life into the " Vicar of 
Wakefield," and the " Proposal of Marriage." Mr. Hook on the 
other hand goes on for a whole lifetime repeating his ** Luff, boy!" 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 189 

only very little degenerated. But it has been observed time after 
time, inside as well as outside the body, that the majority of painters 
subside from the day they are elected as full members. The species 
of social and professional attainment conferred by the initials ILA., 
and the humble level of the average Academic standard, have a fatal 
effect, not on the select few whom we need not name, but on all 
beside. The unhappy man who has been struggling to rise to the 
standard necessary for this given object, begins at once to take his ease 
in his inn; he can raise his price and command a certain limited market; 
he sees Mr. Gladstone's face or Lord Beaconsfield's mask at the annual 
dinner, and the Lord Mayor invites him to the Mansion House ! 

Why, then, do all but a very few men of extraordinaiy independ- 
ence or private success wait round the doors of the Academy ? Not 
because of the honour, but because of the professional advantage, 
the exhibition advantage. The battle of life is too compelling ; the 
new-made Member, or Associate, takes, for a time, a position that 
enables the dealer to work the oracle for him ; and for this the hope 
deferred that makes the heart sick must be endured, the kind of 
picture the Academy esteems must be annually painted. But after 
he is in he may do what he likes. It is much the same in other 
societies or copartnerships. Within the Academic grove there is 
added the pleasure of requiting the profession for all the screwing 
success has cost, of tiuning the tables and tyrannising over those who 
are still waiting grimly without, of having a vested right in the single 
closed guild remaining in this reformed country. 

Mr. Roberts, before the 1863 Committee, read a paper he had 
previously prepared on the pains and humiliations of Associates 
waiting for admission as full members. He drew a touching picture 
of their suspense, and spoke of it as having been very deleterious to 
both the art and the health of some of his friends. Yet it is by 
adding a few to this probationary body that the Academy proposes to 
adapt itself to the increasing interests of the profession, and " to 
satisfy the country." " Have they small stools for you Associates 
and chairs for themselves?" Woollett used to ask his assistant, 
Brown, on returning from the general meetings. When Mr. Watts 
deserted his old friends and his old principle of independence, and 
entered the Academy, advanced as he was in life, he stipulated that 
he was not to remain long in the probationary grade. But few can do 
that ; it is, moreover, ungenerous and even unjust to older Associates, 
Increasing the number of this lower class without increasing the 
upper, is to doom a certain number of men to an endless minority. 
But neither Mr. Roberts, nor any other witness examined, mentioned 

1 90 The Gentlemaiis Magazine. 

the wide-spread evils suffered by the " outsiders" waiting for possible 
openings, the talent wasted, the chances of sale denied, evils borne 
sometimes with heroism, at other times with despair, artists gradually 
disappearing from public view in the first place, and next fix)m the 
profession or from life. 

3rd. Is gratuitous education right? The Academy was unques- 
tionably founded to accomplish the function of teaching, then much 
wanted, and began by outbidding the miscellaneous "Society of 
Artists " previously existing, who made their students pay a guinea a 
year. The Academy was to teach for nothing, and Reynolds began 
delivering his " Discoiu^es," which gave the system and the office of 
President a prestige which has lasted to the present day, in spite of 
the mistaken principle, and the silence, or worse than silence, of late 
years, of Presidents and professors. 

But is gratuitous education the best either for the student or the 
professor? Is it not humiliating to the one and a tax upon the 
other, more like the action of a benevolent society than an Academic 
body? The result has been such as proves to any unprejudiced mind 
that it is a disastrous system, the English being notably the most 
ignorant in drawing and design among European schools, the least 
ambitious and the most deficient in feeling for high and serious art It 
remains the weakest in the technique also, in all that can be taught 
indeed, while it has shot ahead in empirical practice, certain qualities 
and powers — colour, story-telling, and landscape — in all that can be 
done by talent or taste, indeed, waiving education. Mr. Horsley, 
who airs his eloquence at public dinners in the hopes of convincing 
his fellow-Academicians that he would make a good toast-master at 
the annual feast, asserted, at the last Artists' Benevolent Fund dinner, 
that all the artists in England, and especially those listening to him, 
were still indebted to the Academy for their unpaid-for education. 
This statement was received with a burst of indignation by the two 
or three hundred gentlemen present He resumed his seat at once, 
very red in the face; yet a few weeks after he actually repeated the 
same statement at the Mansion House, although he must have known 
that the assertion was altogether incorrect, and that the leading men 
even in the Academy have not been students there, fi*om the Presi- 
dent to the then last-elected Associate, and that his reception at the 
Benevolent Fund dinner proved how wrong the assertion was 

If gratuitous education in a liberal profession has not been successful 
in past time, how much less likely is it to be so now, the spirit of the age 
being entirely against it! The consequence is, that it has been mainly 


The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 191 

superseded in this and in every way, except in the function of exhibi- 
tion. It has kept the shop ! First the British Museum opened its 
superb collection of marbles to students in drawing, then the National 
Gallery afforded the same facihty in painting. These are Govern- 
mental establishments, free to the public. Then rose Schools of 
Design, shaping themselves at last into the Department of Science 
and Art, through which the whole country is now rising into practical 
knowledge and skill, both in the fine and ornamental arts, — ^a knowledge 
and skill going hand in hand, which in a few years must produce 
immense results. Lastly, the Slade Professorships have come into 
operation, two of them at present lectureships destined to make 
learning in art a part of higher education, but in the case of the 
London University affording actual teaching of the best order. 

On the organisation of the Government Schools of Art through- 
out the country, the question of fees was fully considered, and the 
decision unhesitatingly pronounced by adepts in education, by econo- 
mists, and by artists alike, was that gratuitous instruction was a mis- 
take, detrimental to all parties, humiliating to those even who could 
little afford to pay, and not valued by them. How irritating it is, 
then, to hear any man, basely influenced, telling us in a public 
assembly, when we are having our glass of wine after dinner, that we 
ought to be grateful to the Academy for treating the coming genera- 
tion of artists like paupers ! It is a thing not to be borne, and can 
only result from the most impervious ignorance. 

We have heard Sir F. Grant saying in his amateur way that he was 
too tired after a day's work to go out visiting the schools. Of course he 
was, and it is not fair to expect others to go on with the duty even if 
qualified, which the majority are not. An able painter, especially in 
our English manner, is not necessarily an able teacher. It is absurd 
to suppose he is ; in fact, we are pretty sure he is not. Accordingly 
the Academy is adopting the plan of appointing salaried teachers, or 
professors. But even here they have already partially lost the con- 
fidence of the students by appointing over the School of Painting a 
gentleman whose pictures, it is said, are not equal to those of some of 
his pupils. He is a friend of some of the Scotch members, but they 
can't adopt him into the body ; they make him their professor ; he is 
good enough to teach on the gratuitous system ! 

4th. Is the Royal Academy like Old Sarum ? If one looks up the 
annals of the antiquated times of the Reform Bill, one finds an 
amazing pother about vested rights, robbery, and spoliation. Now it 
seems amusing, then it was impassioned by party feeling. Some day 
we shall look back with a similar difference of feeling on the time 

ig2 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

when a self-elected body of forty men held a veto upon the honours, 
the exhibition and sale of the productions of severil important pro- 
fessions. Sir Martin Shee, who is still the Magnus Apollo of the 
Academy, said, in defence of the institution, that forty members were 
quite enough, because at no time should we find more than forty con- 
temporary artists who would go down to posterity, and * that the 
Academy was an Assembly of Honour, and nothing else ! This is 
repeated to the present day ; we have heard it. 

But, in the first place, forty artists never lived at one time whose 
names went down to posterity ; we should have to diminish the 
number as Regan and Goneril did their father^s following. Shee 
himself is only mentionable at this short distance of time as having 
been P.R.A.! The Academy was instituted as an educational body, 
in which it has been in great measure superseded ; now it is an exhi- 
biting body, and in this way it is not an Assembly of Honour, it is 
a shop, a Trade Monopoly. Besides, how can it be our Assembly 
of Honour in English Art, when Mr. Woodington is voted in, Alfred 
Stevens and Mr. John Bell left out ; when Mr. J. G. Storey is voted 
in, and — whom shall we say? — Mr. Bume Jones, or even Mr. Prinsep, 
who has been waiting, cap in hand, some time now. kept out ; when 
Creswick and V. Cole are voted in, John Linnell kept out till he is 
seventy ; Yeames voted in, Holman Hunt kept out ? It is an 
assembly of the " clubable men" who have not patriotism enough or 
nous enough to see its defects and to aid the profession in remedying 
them. It may become, perhaps has already become, an Assembly 
of Dishonour ! 

Let us have honours by all means, but the letters R. A. and A.R. A. 
in the professions of sculptor and painter are similar to degrees in col- 
lege-bred professions. Suppose the London College of Physicians 
consisted of a limited number, 40, or 200 if you like It better, and had 
an exclusive right to award to its members the title of M.D. through- 
out the kingdom I Suppose that no man, however great in science, 
qualified by education, able in medicine, could have this stamp of autho- 
rity after his name if the Royal College did not choose, but must 
stand on his own merits as an empiric — would it be fair to the nume- 
rous and learned " outsiders ", whom we should all know then ? The sup- 
position is so monstrous that we cannot entertain it for a moment; yet 
this is exactly parallel to the present action of the Academy, especially 
with the exhibition at its command. Our art should be absolutely 
free, we repeat, like other trades, or our literature. 

The Academy makes the parallel as complete as it can by not 
recognising the degrees conferred by other bodies modelled after 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 193 

Itself : the Royal Scottish or Royal Hibernian Academies. When 
any members of these bodies exhibit at Burlington House, their 
names in the body of the catalogue are denuded of the honorary 
initials. Last May the President of the Royal Scottish Academy had 
some of his pictures rejected, and others exhibited with his bare name 
appended.* Yet he is one of the best living portrait painters, and 
since that time he has received the honour of knighthood. This 
want of respect to Sir Daniel Macnee and bodies exactly similar to 
itself, the writer takes it, justifies him in the freedom of his 
treatment of the Academy. 

Again, if it is an Assembly of Honour, its learning, taste, and genius 
must be above the average level of that of the community — must 
make itself felt to be so. But it has not been so ; not in one instance 
has it saved us any public display of incompetence, nor attempted 
to cultivate a higher condition of the arts. Nor has it tried to aid 
any new manifestation of genius ; it has, on the contrary, tried to 
stamp such out; the only picture by Miiller ever well placed on its 
walls was a forgery after his death. This forgery was excellently 
exhibited because it was sent in by an influential collector! The only 
one ever well exhibited by David Scott was that seen last winter ; he 
was invariably denied exhibition while he lived, and we believe had 
this very picture, the tragic disappearance of a Duke of Gloucester 
into the Watergate of the Tower, rejected 1 John Martin was similarly 
treated ; and, as to Blake, his wonderful and unobtrusive works were 
always rejected ; he has had to wait till unearthed and vindicated by 
the Burlington Club. 

We are sorry to say that the level of the "Academic" taste and 
judgment is so low that a certain executive cleverness is all it 
can appreciate. Let us take the latest incident in its history as a 
further proof of the fact. The Council has now, through the will of 
Sir F. Chantrey coming into force, two or three thousand pounds a 
year to spend towards the formation of a "Gallery of English 
Painters." What does the reader think the Council did this first 
season to initiate this responsible undertaking? The worst thing that 
could happen would be to heap together another collection of odds 
and ends, like those of Mr. Vernon or Mr. Sheepshanks, and the 
proper thing to happen would be the gradual formation of a constella- 

' To make this statement quite exact, we find in all cases the names are entered 
in the catalogue without the initials R.S. A. or R.H. A. There is an index at the 
end, however, wherein, in some cases, the initials appear. That the members of 
other Academies should share in the large capital letters, whereby the Academi- 
cians advertise themselves in this index, is not to be expected. 


194 ^^ Gentleman* s Magazine. 

tion oi chefs a'ceuvrc^ one work — ^and that the best — \}y each aitist; say, 
for instance, Etty*s "Sirens," John Martin's '' Belshazzai's Feast," 
Poole's " Solomon Eagle," Constable's "Salisbury ;"or, if the under- 
taking was to be confined to living artists, Holman Hunt's " Light of 
the World," Watts's " Death and Love," the noblest picture yet painted 
in England perhaps; Poynter's "Israel in Egypt," Wallis's "Chatter- 
ton," Fildes's " Casuals ;" or, limiting the purchase to the very year, any 
of those we have already pointed out as distinguishing the season. No ! 
the Council selected last year a single picture of middle-class quality 
and subject, Mr. Morgan's " Haymakers," just such a picture as 
the Art-Union prizeholder would select, or Mr. Agnew place in 
Lancashire, and this season half a dozen small popular performances, 
besides various other works of art selected to meet all objectors as 
it were. The truth is, the Academy, if not checked by some expose^ 
will make this added patronage merely the means of securing an 
increased clientele among rising men and adding popular attractions 
to their exhibition. Such is their moral level, theur point of view ! 

These remarks are running to too great a length ; we must draw 
them to a close. Have we any measure to propose ? Yes, a measure 
which, sooner or later, will be adopted. The Academy must be 
no longer George III.'s, or the Court's, semi-private body of artists. 
That position, like the position of actors when they were "the 
Queen's poor players," or the " Earl of Essex's players," is unworthy 
of the age. The arts of every country have degenerated under the 
stereotyped pressure of Academies ; but of all countries and of all 
periods, the most unfit country to be overridden is England in the 
nineteenth century. The affairs of the fine arts — that is to say, edu- 
cation, means of exhibition, and the direction of public taste — ^must be 
more thoroughly provided for. The educational interests of art have 
been already provided for by a division of the Committee of Council 
on Education. The national want of one large place of public 
Exhibition is still more urgent. We have South Kensington, the 
National Gallery, and the British Museum ; a fourth is wanted, a place 
for the living art of the year. We must have no inadequate repre- 
sentation, and it must be free — fi*ee to allow full development in 
coming years according to the spirit of the age and the idiosyncracy 
of genius. 

Lord Elcho said he doubted whether Parliament had full power over 
the internal constitution of the Academy, so that it may have to con- 
tinue to exist as an Assembly of Honour, its business functions being 
superseded. Even in this way it must be always unjust, but we are 
very far from objecting to honours being paid to artists. Men of 

The Royal Academy and Exhibition. 195 

sdence, however, should share in such honours ; indeed, artists should 
be exacdy on the same ground with literary men and poets, scientific 
men and philosophers. Let us have an Order of Merit, a British 
Legion of Honour, a civic Victoria Cross, knighthoods and baronetcies 
too. The numerous minor honours bestowed by the French Govern- 
ment on the most eminent exhibitors at the Salon seem to be judi- 
cious, as it is a painter's best works that are there distinguished, and 
the recipient is not thereby placed in a privileged class, removed 
from his fellows. 

The writer has now come nearly to the end of his paper. If he 
has pointed out a good deal in the action of the Royal Academy far 
firom just and frightfully deleterious, he has done so to undeceive the 
public, not with the hope that any advice or suggestion would be 
advisable. Before the Committees of the House, whose Reports 
(1836 and 1863) ^c ^^ of arguments for and against the institution, 
nearly all the men examined were manifestly interested parties, 
either enjoying, or wanting to enjoy, promotion and privilege. Such 
was the impression left on the minds of the Committee, who advised 
an extension of the number of Associates, and other measures to 
please a few more artists. But perhaps the time has come when 
fine art may be considered as important as ornamental art,^ and as 
fit a subject for legislation as spelling. Had our clergy and their 
flocks been educated instead of ignorant in the arts, the revival of 
mediaevalism would never have perverted their minds in matters of 
religion, nor would restoration have been allowed to destroy the 
records of our history in stone. 

The measure, then, which the writer would advise being brought 
before the House of Commons is not whether a few men more or less 
shall enjoy vested rights ; it is that the fine arts be incorporated with 
the ornamental, imder the Council on Education ; that the curriculum 
be real and not fictitious. Academic not gratuitous; and that, above 
all, the presept vexation and morbid anxiety about exhibition should 
be put an end to by the national provision of a vast hall for that 
purpose. The number of petty societies and speculating galleries is 
already likely to defeat their own ends, and we have just seen a new 
one of importance established and another announced. If the schools 
were empowered to confer certificates or degrees of qualification, we 
should have a means of electing the jiuy for reception and hanging. 

* In the short debate on Museums of Science and Art in the House of 
Commons, on the 17th ult., Dr. Lyon Playfair advocated the placing of the 
British Museum and the National Gallery under the management of the Minister 
of Education. 


T96 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

For the Salon in Paris all former exhibitors vote in the council and 
hanging committee, and upwards of a hundred distinctions by medal, 
by the Order of the Legion of Honour, or by purchase, are always 
made by the Administration of the day. Exhibition, to the English 
painter, has become a necessity ; it is his means of making himself 
known and of selling his productions. To the public the exhibition 
is at once a festival of taste and a means of study and refinement. 
The members of an irresponsible society, which claims to be only 
an Assembly of Honour, with inadequate accommodation, has, by 
its tyranny and low standard of selection, almost shut the door 
against the highest class of design, and has caused twenty minor 
shows to start into existence. Let our Government undertake the 
office of National Exhibitor, and in a very few years the Depart- 
ment of Art will have completed a system better than that of the 
Salon or any other. As to education in fine arts, it is identical with 
education in the ornamental. A vast annual exhibition would be 
the completion of the structure, the keystone of the arch. What, 
then, should be done with the Academy ? The Senate of Rome still 
exists, and the Council of Ten at Venice. Why should not the Forty 
continue to hold their meetings and elect a President as the Cardinals 
elect a Pope ? 



DURING the last ten or twenty years our knowledge of Central 
Africa has been enlarged to an immense extent It is but a 
short time ago since the maps of this wonderful continent showed in 
the interior one vast barren blank — scarcely relieved by the ever- 
changing " Montes Lunae " — where now they are covered with moun- 
tains, rivers, lakes, countries, towns, and villages. During this time 
problems which have puzzled the world since the time of Herodotus 
have been finally set at rest ; sheets of water rather deserving of the 
name of seas than of lakes have been discovered and surveyed ; the 
fountains of the Nile have been visited, and countries teeming with 
inexhaustible natural resources have at last been opened to the 
benefits of commerce and civilisation. In addition to this, the inhu- 
man traffic in slaves, which has hitherto proved such a curse to the 
land, has received its death-blow. Of the exploration of these regions 
a by no means insignificant part has been accomplished by expedi- 
tions organised and despatched by the Egyptian Government. The 
grandfather of the present Khedive, Mehemet AH, once sent an ex- 
pedition which reached Gondokoro ; the provinces north of that 
town were nominally subjugated, and from that time probably dates 
the idea of Egyptian rule in equatorial Africa, the realisation of which 
was first entrusted in 1869 ^o Sir Samuel Baker. Baker's duties were 
onerous and extensive. In the Firman which engaged him, he was 
instructed to accomplish " the subjugation of the countries to the 
south of Gondokoro, the suppression of the slave-trade, the intro- 
duction of a system of regular commerce, the opening up to naviga- 
tion of the great lakes of the equator ; " and it is not surprising that 
when he retired from the service in 1872, the whole of the work set 
before him was by no means completed, and much remained to be 
accomplished by his successor. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles George 
Gordon, who was appointed to the task, was an officer admirably 
fitted for the post, having previously greatly distinguished himself in 
the Crimean and Chinese wars. In the latter country also he had 

198 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

commanded the famous "Ever Victorious Army," and had been 
mainly instrumental in suppressing the formidable Tai-ping rebellion. 
Colonel Gordon, or Gordon Pasha, as he was now officially called, 
started from Cairo on his southward journey on the 23rd February 
1874, and on the 17th April reached Gondokoro, at that time still 
the seat of government. The journey thus far was accomplished 
with comparative ease, for the obstruction in the river, which had 
baffled the efforts of Sir Samuel Baker, had been removed through 
the energy of Ismail Pasha Eyub, the conqueror of Dar Fur, and 
steamers were able to ascend without hindrance. Finding that his 
government consisted of the three military stations, Gondokoro, 
Fatiko, and Foweira, and that his troops were in want of many things, 
and in arrears of pay, he determined to return to ELhartoum to obtain 
more troops and to meet his stores. Having done so, he started with 
the same on June 8 ; but owing to heavy rains and delays he did not 
again arrive at Gondokoro till September. It was then seen that Gon- 
dokoro was unfitted for a station on account of its unhealthiness,. It 
stands on an eminence of 20 or 25 feet, the foot of which was for- 
merly washed by the waters of the Nile, but owing to the river having 
shifted its course westward, the river bed had become a stagnant and 
fever-breeding marsh. It was therefore decided to evacuate it, and 
to establish two stations at Lado and Rageef or Regiai^ the former 
twelve miles below, and the latter about the same distance above, 
Gondokoro. This evacuation was not completed till the ist January 
in the following year. 

Gordon was accompanied, as the chief of his staff, by Colonel 
C. Chaillc Long. Seven days after his arrival at Gondokoro, in -spite 
of the rainy season, this officer had already started on a journey to 
the capital of Mtesa, or M'Ts^, as he spells the name of that poten- 
tate. He was accompanied by two Egyptian soldiers only — Said 
Bagarrah and Abd-el- Rahman — a dragoman, and two servants. 
The objects of the mission were to establish friendly relations 
with the king, who had not been visited by a European since the 
days of Speke and Grant, to explore the Victoria Lake, and to trace 
the Nile from its debouchure down to the Albert Lake. He arrived 
at the capital of Uganda in June, and met with a grand reception, 
which, however, was marred by the sacrifice in his honour of thirty of 
the king's subjects. Mtesa made many protestations of friendship, 
and promised to divert the ivory trade from the Zanzibar route 
towards Gondokoro. In his work entitled " Central Africa" Colonel 
Long states that King Mtesa was brought into willing subjection to 
the Egyptian Government, " and his country, rich in ivory and popH- 

Colonel Gordons Expedition to the Upper Nile. 1 99 

lous, created the southern limit of Egypt " (p. 306). Of this subjection, 
however, we require confirmation. With some difficulty Colonel Long 
obtained permission from Mtesa to return by water, and accordingly 
embarked at Urondogani, on the river draining the Victoria Nyanza, 
which he found further north expands into a large lake. To this he 
gave the name Ibrahim Pasha Lake. He then followed the river to 
Mruli, thus establishing its connection and identity ^with the White Nile. 
On his journey he visited Nyannyonjo's, which, as well as Urondo- 
gani, had already been visited by Speke, and the residence of Rionga, 
who occupies both sides of the Nile above Foweira, where he was 
very well received. He had a hostile encounter with 500 of Kaba 
Regans (King of Unyoro) men, who tried to intercept him, but whom 
he repulsed with a heavy loss. His journey occupied him about six 
months. After staying some months in Khartoum to recruit his 
broken health. Colonel Long started (1875) on a second expedition, 
the object of which was to open a road through the hostile Yanbari 
tribe to the Makraka Niam-Niam country. For this journey he was 
better equipped, and had 450 picked soldiers under his command. 
He gained a complete victory over the Yanbari, and thus opened up 
for the first time a country rich in ivory and hitherto inaccessible or 
unsafe. His geographical discoveries are not very important, but he 
has added much to the knowledge of the habits and customs of the 
dwellers in Central Africa. His impressions of the country and 
people are unfavourable. The country he describes as " deadly 
pestiferous " — " a plague-spot " (Central Africa, p. 309), and the negro 
as " a miserable wretch, often devoid of all tradition or belief in a 
Deity " (ibid,). The country about Gondokoro is certainly pestilential ; 
but this description by no means applies to other parts of Africa, 
some of which are almost the essence of fertility and salubrity. For 
his services in this region Long was afterwards made by the Khedive 
a full colonel, besides receiving the Order of the Medjidie (3rd 

A short exploratory expedition was made during the year 
1874 to the westward of Lado, under the two English engineer 
officers. Lieutenants Watson and W. H. Chippendall, R.E. Whilst 
afterwards preparing to start for the Albert Nyanza, Lieut. Watson 
fell ill and returned to England, where he arrived about the beginning 
of May 1875. Lieut. Chippendall then undertook the task which his 
comrade, from the state of his health, was unable to accomplish. In 
March 1875 he made a journey seventy miles beyond Apuddo towards 
Lake Albert to the Koshi tribe, and conciliated the tribes of the 
neighbourhood, but did not succeed in reaching the lake itself. 

200 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Lieut. Chippendall was the first European to cross the Bahr-el-Jebel 
between Dufli and the Albert Nyanza (Mwutan N'zige), near Fashoda, 
a village of the Koshi. He ascertained from the natives that the 
Nile leaves the Albert Lake by two channels, but not where the 
western stream flows. He states that the natives of Fashoda were 
mostly naked, but that a few wore skins of goats round the loins. 
Nearly everyone wore a ring in the upper lip. In the autumn he 
also was sent home invalided, but returned to Egypt to resume his 
duties early in 1876. 

On December 31, 1874, Gordon was joined at Lado by Herr 
Ernst Mamo. It appears that Gordon was anxious to give his expe- 
dition the character of a national rather than a military undertaking, 
and having secured representatives of England, France, the United 
States, and Italy, he applied through the Austrian consul at Khartoum 
for a naturalist of that nationality to join his party, promising to defray 
all expenses beyond Berber. For this post, on the recommendation 
of the Vienna Geographical Society, Herr Mamo was selected. He 
was well fitted for the work, as he spoke Arabic, knew the country 
round Khartoum well, as well as the character of the natives, was 
thoroughly acclimatised by residence in those parts, and possessed 
high scientific qualifications. A sum of 6,000 florins having been 
subscribed for his journey, he went by the Red Sea to Suakin, where, 
on landing, he was provided by order of the Viceroy with camels for 
his journey to Berber, and with everything else he required. He left 
Berber November 19, and five days' steam brought him to Khartoum. 
The steamer was one built by Baker in Gondokoro for navigating the 
Albert Nyanza with. It was very small and uncomfortable, and the 
engine fires emitted sparks to a dangerous extent, so that men had 
to be constantly on the watch on board to extinguish incipient fires. 
At Ghaba Shambil (about 7° N. lat.), on the Bahr-el-Jebel, Mamo 
was well received by Hassan Ibrahim, a former friend of Poncefs, 
and invited by him to make an excursion into the country of the 
Dyur and Niam-Niam, as far as the home of the dwarf nation called 
Akkas, a young female of whom he brought for Herr Mamo to see. 
Some male representatives of this curious race had reached Italy 
under the custody of the late Signor Miani, but no females had ever 
been seen previously, even by Schweinfurth. On December 5 they 
met a steamer coming down with M. Cechi, one of Colonel Gordon's 
party, on board, and arrived at Lado on the 31st, having had a rapid 
journey up the Bahr-el-Jebel, owing to the waters being very near 
their height Plans for exploring to the east and west of the Albert 
Nyanz4 were discussed, but th^y w^re never carried put, aind Mamo 

Colonel GordotCs Expedihon to the Upper Nile, soi 


202 The Gentlemati s Magazine. 

returned to Khartoum, after he had visited only Regiaf, Mundo, and 
•Makraka. ~ On July 26, 1875, ^^ again left Khartoum, intending to 
penetrate into Dar Fur, but on reaching El Obeid, the capital of 
Kordofan (August 5), the desired permission to continue his journey 
was reftised him by the mudir of that province. He applied to the 
Khedive, and meanwhile explored a large portion of Kordofan, 
tiavelling about 1,100 miles in sixty days. The answer to his applica- 
tion being unfavourable, he returned to Khartoum and Europe, with 
a- rich harvest of geographical results, but the main objects of his 
journey — the exploration of the Albert Nyanza and of Dar Fur — 
uhachieved. He has determined the geographical position of El 
Obeid, ascertained numerous altitudes, made meteorological obser- 
vations, and carefully plotted his routes, and added considerably to 
our knowledge of the district 

In January 1875 Colonel Gordon descended and inspected the 
stations, Bohr and the Sobat, returning to Lado March 4. The 
remainder of the month of March was spent in the subjugation of 
Bedden and other hostile Sheikhs near Regiaf; and now had to be 
faiced the great work of establishing a safe communication between 
I;ado and the lakes. Taking it roughly at 250 miles, the intervening 
joountry was one devoid of supplies, unless taken from the natives by 
force ; in the rainy season the numerous streams were torrents, while 
id the dry season little water could be obtained. The natives were 
friendly or hostile, according to one's force, but may generally be 
iaid to be hostile. 

A reconnaissance having shown the Nile to be navigable consider- 
ably further south than was supposed. Colonel Gordon determined 
to establish a line of posts to preserve the communications between 
the N. and S. of the province along the left bank of the river, and 
^t to" attempt the usual inland road. This portion of the Nile had 
been stated by all previous travellers to be unnavigable on account 
9f the numerous cataracts. The present operations, however, proved 
ihat the supposed obstacles were easily surmountable, with the excep- 
tion of the last or most southerly, viz., the Falls of Makedo. Even 
^hese Lieut. Chippendall stated before the British Association (Sep- 
tember 8, 1876) he thought would not prevent " a Thames tug, leaving 
jSngland, from mounting the Nile to Albert Nyanza, if she chose 
her time." The fall between Apuddo and Asua, a distance of 15 
iniles, is 222 feet; between Asua and Bedden (80 miles), 286 
feet ; and between Bedden and Gondokoro (20 miles), 75 feet But 
the steep gradient of 15 feet per mile in the first of these sections is 
chiefly taken up in the cataract of Makedo, rendering the river both 

Colonel Gordons Expedition to the Upper Nile. 203 

above and below navigable. Colonel Gordon succeeded in taking 
two large iron boats and a small steamer from Regiaf to the mouth, 
of the Asua in the summer of 1875, establishing stations as he w«ti| 
on at Bedden and Kerrie, and at once prepared to tiy the ascent of 
the rapids at Makedo, 8 miles in advance, where he had already esta^ 
blished a station. The rapids were found to be caused by the peculiar 
way in which the hard rocky strata across the bed of the river hav^ 
been eroded. They form a succession of transverse ridges, dipping 
to the north, so that the water flowing from the south strikes against 
them and curls upwards, forming all sorts of eddies, backwaters, and 
whirlpools. From Regiaf to the mouth of the Kya River ' (f? 
miles) the bed was rocky and the banks steep, being covered with 
large rocks, the surrounding country being open, rocky, and undulating, 
intersected by many mountain streams. It was thickly populated by 
the Bari tribe, who cultivated it to a large extent, and owned little 
herds of cattle, which they objected to sell. The first cataract wa$ 
twelve miles from Regiaf, and the second at the mouth of the Kya, a 
large river (70 to 80 yards wide) flowing from the west, which the 
Arabs and natives said took its rise in the Kuku Mountains. In the 
dry season its depth was from 3 to 4 feet, and in the rainy season, in 
parts, firom 10 to 12 feet Five miles from where it joined the Nile 
was a fall 50 or 60 feet high. Forty miles S. of Kya is Mount 
Labori, on the east bank of the Nile, and 20 miles further on another 
range of hills shelved down to the river. On the west side the Kuku 
hills gradually approach the river to within a few miles. From this 
point the mountains on both sides of the river run parallel with it 
to the head of the cataracts, a distance of about 30 miles. The 
range on the east bank runs straight down to the river ; that on the 
west is separated from it by a narrow strip of land, covered with high 
grass and prickly trees, very rocky, uninhabited, and uncultivated. 
The natives stated that there was only one path. At Dufli (on the 
left bank of the Nile opposite to Apuddo or Ibrahimiya), the hills on 
both sides drop abruptly, the country beyond being flat and covered 
with palms and a few other large trees. 

In the early part of this year (1875) Colonel Ernest Linant de 
Bellefonds was despatched by Colonel Gordon to Mtesa, to makcf a 
treaty of commerce between that king and the Egyptian Govonment. 
He reached Ulagalla, Mtesa's capital, on April 12, when he was met 
by Mr. H. M. Stanley, who had arrived there five days before him. 
They parted company on the 17th, when Stanley left to complete his 
circunmavigation of the Victoria Nyanza, entrusting to De Bellefonds 
his despatches for transmission to England. De BeUefoiidg arrived 


returned to I 

penetrate ir 
Kordofan (.' 
was refuscil 
Khedive, ; 
travelling a' 
tion being i 
a rich han 
journey — l! 
Obcid, asr 
vations, ni 
our knoul 
In Jar 

&ced thr 
Lado ai: 
force; ^ 
Aid to 
to est 

204 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

in Apuddo again with his soldiers in good health in August, after 
having a fight on the road between Mtesa*s capital and Kilware with 
Kaba Rega's people, near the place where Colonel Long had his 
battle. When he had nearly reached the station at Lado he was 
attacked by the Bari and massacred, with thirty-six of his fol- 
lowers, only four soldiers escaping. The natives carried off all the 
rifles of his party. The letters which had been given to him by 
Stanley were afterwards found by a detachment of Colonel Gordon's 
forces, and forwarded to their destination. This is the second son 
that the venerable Linant Bey (a great irrigational engineer of 
Mehemet Ali and Ibrahim Pasha) has lost in that country. On 
account of his death Gordon gave up his projected visit to the Albert 
I-ake, in order to go and punish the tribe that had attacked the party. 
(A translation of the report made by De Bellefonds to the Egyptian 
Minister of War respecting his visit to King Mtesa*s capital was pub- 
lished in full in the Daily Telegraphy January 12, 1876.) 

By January i, 1876, the whole of the sections of the 50-feet 
steamer and two iron lifeboats had arrived at Dufli, and their con- 
struction commenced, while troops were massed at Foweira for an 
advance south towards the Victoria Lake. On account of the rapids, 
the steamer had to be taken to pieces and carried, with all the bag- 
gage and supplies, to a point above the rapids, where the sections 
were again put together and the voyage resumed. On February 3 
Gordon was at Fatiko, having returned from M'ruli on the fi*ontiers of 
Kaba Rega's kingdom, where he had been with a small force. On 
hearing of Gordon's arrival at Foweira, Kaba Rega, an old enemy of 
Baker's, took to flight, and Gordon appointed his co-regent Aufina or 
Aufuma, the son of Fowarka, his successor, establishing a station at 
Masindi, the capital of Unyoro, and leaving the troops under his 
command. Aufina entertained friendly feelings towards Egypt, and 
he, as well as Rionga, the present chief of M'ruli, acknowledged him- 
self a vassal of Egypt. Gordon also established military garrisons of 
thirty men each at Urondogani and Magungo, taking formal posses- 
sion of the two lakes Victoria and Albert, in the name of the Khedive. 

In the early part of this year (1876), " His Excellency, Col. 
Gordon, Governor-General of Equatorial Africa" (for thus Signor 
Gessi describes him), deputed Signor Romolo Gessi to examine and 
circumnavigate the Albert Nyanza, besides exploring the river between 
Dufli and the lake, and conve}dng stores to the station at Magungo, 
at the mouth of Speke's Somerset River. He placed at his disposal 
the two iron gunboats and all that was necessary for the accomplish- 
ment of the mission. With x8 sailors and la soldiers he left Dufli 

Colonel Gordons Expedition to the Upper Nile. 205 

March 7, and reached the lake on March 18, at the time of equinox, 
having make but slow progress, on account of the contrary winds, 
the incessant rains, and the current. The distance from Dufli to the 
lake is 164 miles,* and throughout the river is navigable, deep, and 
broad, in some places exceeding 700 yards. At two-thirds of the 
distance from Dufli there is a large branch which flows in a NNW. 
direction, and probably flows towards Makraka, in the country of the 
Niam-Niam. The country is very rich ; the natives are clothed in the 
skins of antelopes or goats ; and the products of the soil are varied, 
consisting of millet, the wheat of the country, sesame, honey, tobacco, 
bananas, beans, &c. Cattle are abundant, and comfort and plenty 
appear to reign among the people. On March 20, after delay on 
account of the storms, Gessi started in the direction of Magungo, 
but was prevented from reaching the coast by a strong land breeze. 
Driven along by the wind, they were prevented from sheltering them- 
selves under the shore by the threatening attitude of a party of 
disbanded soldiers of Kaba Rega, who kept pace with them on the 
beach. After much difficulty, they eluded their troublesome neighbours, 
and anchored in a harbour having the shape of a horseshoe. During 
the night one of the boats was driven ashore by the gale, and filled 
with water and sand, thus destroying the greater part of their pro- 
visions as well as their instruments. Having recovered the damaged 
boat, they on March 30 reached Magungo,^ and on April 12 they 
were again en route. Pursuing his course along the eastern shore of 
the lake, past several islets, and three cataracts, called respectively 
Huima, Wahambia, and Nanza, proceeding from a large river, never 
dry, called Tisa, which he identifies with Sir S. Baker's Kaiigiri, Gessi 
on April 16 anchored in a snug harbour, which he named Port 
Schubra (the Vacovia of Sir S. Baker). This harbour is 250 yards 
wide, and 600 or 700 in length, and is surrounded by many villages. 
Starting again on the i8th, he entered a Httle further south a river 
(Missisi), but seven miles from its mouth was stopped by the growth 
of papyrus and other aquatic vegetation. Here he saw a large water- 
fall, much grander than the three previously passed. Gessi was 
informed by the natives " that the waterfall came from waters which 
accumulate in the mountains and form a river during the season of 

* Colonel Gordon subsequently gives the distance as some 30 miles less. 

* Gessi here, according to a telegram from Colonel Gordon, hoisted the 
Egyptian flag ** on the banks of the Lake Albert, in the presence of the officers, 
soldiers, and natives; and all the assemblage prayed for long life and continued 
Tictory for his Highness the Khedive, and the Princes his sons ; and all those 
regions and their inhabitants came under the rule of the Khedival Government." 

2o6 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

the rains, but dry up, together with the river, in the dry season." They 
also told him that he was then at the end of the lake; that beyond the 
water was very shallow, only about the height of their knees ; and that 
it was filled with a dense growth of " ambatch " (a species of Herminiera^ 
also known as ^demone tnirabilis\ a plant which only flourishes in 
1 8 inches or 2 feet of water. Leaving the river, Gessi endeavoured 
to force his way through the ambatch; but without success, the 
growth being too dense and the water very shallow. He therefore 
skirted the ambatch fields, the boat's keel touching the bottom 
firom time to time, and thus traversed the lake from east to west, a 
distance of 40 miles, without finding any passage. Gessi observed 
that the water had everywhere a black colour, owing to the forests of 
ambatch, and was undrinkable ; there was no current whatever, and 
the bottom was sandy. From the mast of the boat he saw that the 
ambatch extended "very far," and that beyond it was a field of herbs 
and vegetation extending to the foot of the mountains. On the westerh 
shore the natives were too hostile to communicate with him, but a 
litde fiirther north the natives gave him the same information respect- 
ing the end of the lake as he had received on the eastern shore. 
Having so small an escort, he was unable to undertake a land journey ; 
and therefore, his efforts at finding a southern outlet to the lake being 
fiiiitless, he at once proceeded on his northward journey along the 
western coast. He states that the mountains from Vacovia to the 6nd 
of the lake, and also those on the western side, descend directly to 
the water's edge, and are destitute of large trees, being clothed with 
bushes only. On the return journey he passed three waterfalls, btit 
did not see a single harbour or sheltering place on this side of the 
lake. He was driven 40 miles out of his course, and put in great 
peril, by tempestuous weather. The wind becoming more favourable, 
he, on the 21st, came in sight of Mt. M'Caroli, which had already 
been seen by Baker from the opposite side of the lake. Gessi gives 
the length of the lake as 141 miles, and the greatest width 60 miles, 
and in his map he makes it trend further north than, and to the west 
of, the outlet of the Nile. It is therefore much smaller than either 
the Victoria or the Tanganyika, and justifies the designation given it 
by Speke of the Little Luta Nzige. Gordon thinks it very probable that 
there may be " a chain of lakes and marshes leading from Lake Albert 
to Tanganjdka, for Gessi distinctly says the ridge of mountains on the 
west coast does not join those on the east coast of the lake. Thus 
there is a gap." The branch discovered flowing to the north-west 
firom the Nile some distance below its exit from the lake is 200 yards 
wide, and has a good current It runs towards the Jaie (Pethericlds 

Colonel Gordon's Expedition to the Upper Nile. 267^ 

Ayee), which has a course of several hundred miles nearly parallel 
to the Nile, joining the main stream opposite the commencemei|t 
of the Giraffe River ih N. lat. 7°, and E. long. 30° 20' (Greenwich); 
Should it not join this river, it probably forms the Welle River, whidi 
flows into Earth's Kubanda. In this case it would establish Dr. 
Schweinfurth's theory that the Albert Nyanza is drained by the W^elle^ 
WhenGessi left Dufli to explore the lake, he was accompanied as fer 
as Magungo by the well-known African traveller, Signor Carlo Piaggia, 
who turned off" at this point to ascend the Somerset Nile. Fiaggia 
was originally commissioned by the Egyptian Government to exploxe 
theSobat River, the sources of which he had already visited in 1856.; 
but he afterwards received orders to join Gordon Pasha. On bis^ 
arrival at Dufli, he was instructed to go in the direction of the Max:- 
karak, but his final orders were to go south to the Albert and Victoria* 
Lakes. Taking with him one small boat, two men, and a Reis, he airivedt. 
after a journey of 35 miles up the river, at the grand Murchison ca*^ 
cade. Thence to Foweira, a distance of 63 miles, the river brajl 
rapids, compelling Piaggia and his men to make their way on foot 
across forests and ravines. After some days' rest at Foweira,. where 
they were hospitably treated by the garrison, they proceeded to M'ru}i^ 
where Piaggia obtained soldiers, natives, and dragomans froin JUtig 
Mtesa, who with much difficulty laboured to span the part of the river 
full of floating islands and large papyrus. They then came to alak^ 
called Capechii (Long's L. Ibrahim), in the exploration of whidt 
Piaggia spent six days, measuring its length, breadth, and depth, aild 
obtaining minerals, plants, and shells. He found its basin tobefi^om 
32 to .35 miles in length, and 12 to 15 miles in breadth, and discovered 
a second outlet in a branch flowing to the north-east, which, after a 
short course, loses itself in a network of swamps, and which he 
accordingly named Massanga. He expresses his behef that it eyeiji-. 
tually discharges into the Sobat, or by the Makedo Falls near Dufli 
into the Nile ; but it is very probable that this apparent outlet, is 
nothing more than a sort of swampy breakwater formed diuing the 
rainy season, and of no great extent. The south-western half of. the 
lake is studded with islands, while the opposite portion is free from 
them. Piaggia states that the surrounding country was almost deserted 
by man, the wars of two neighbouring potentates having prevented the 
natives from settling. At this time, the rain being incessant and the wt 
filled with malaria, and the men suffering from fever, it became necessai^ 
to descend the river. Leaving the soldiers and dragomans at M'nili, 
Piaggia pushed on to Dufli, where he arrived on June 9. In .lite 
autumn he returned to Egypt, taking with him a valuable collectioji 

2o8 The Gentlemafts Magazine. 

of curiosities, chiefly from the tribes of the Bari, Madi, Magi, and 
Ugunda. This collection he offered to the British Museum; but, the 
authorities having declined it, it was sold for ;^*75, and placed in the 
Ethnological Museum at Berlin. 

On May 30 Mr. Lucas, accompanied by Mr. Freeman, arrived at 
Lado, having entered on an exploration of the river of the " Gazelles." 
He was unable to reach the Bahr-el-Ghazel, and had to make a long 
detour by Lado, where he met with a warm reception from Gordon. 
After consulting together, Mr. Lucas determined to change his route 
and explore the region of Lake Albert, and thence to endeavour to 
reach the Congo at Nyangwe. Gordon accompanied him to the 
borders of the lake, leaving him there to push on to the Nyanza of • 
Livingstone and beyond to the west. His escort proving too weak 
to allow him to penetrate further into the interior, he returned to 
* Khartoum en route for Suez, intending to reorganise his expedition, 
and proceed, by way of Zanzibar, to the Congo. After repeated 
attacks of fever, he left Khartoum Oct. 26, and reached Suez, where 
he reorganised his expedition. He then again started for the south, 
but did not proceed further than Jeddah, on the Red Sea, where he 
was struck down by the hand of death, in the 26th year of his age. 
His companion, Mr. Freeman, died at Khartoum Oct. 5. 

In July the reconstruction of the lo-horse-power steamer above 
the Makedo Falls was completed, and it made its first voyage from 
Dufli to Magungo, reaching the latter place on the 19th of that 
month. Gordon then proposed to start for Mtesa's capital, where he 
would leave a garrison of 150 men, by special desire of the king. 
At about twenty miles south of Dufli the river begins to widen out, 
and the current becomes, therefore, less rapid, being only at the rate 
of half a mile an hour. The bed is wide, sometimes as much as two 
or three marine miles, and is filled with islands of papyrus, with 
which also the banks are fringed. The country is very populous — 
much more so than any other portion of Africa that Colonel Gordon 
had seen — and the natives are well disposed. The sight of the 
steamboat naturally astonished them greatly. The banana cultivation 
is met with forty miles from Dufli, and continues southward for 
twenty miles, but is not again to be seen till within a short distance 
from the lake. Fifty miles south of Dufli the natives wear skins ; 
those fiirther to the south clothe themselves with the bark of a tree. 
Colonel Gordon believed that a circle described from Ratatchambd 
as a centre, with a radius extending to Fashoda, would include all the 
tribes that go entirely naked ; a zone outside that circle would include 
those half clad ; whilst outside that again would be the tribes which 

Colonel Gordon's Expedition to the Upper Nile. 209 

fully clothe themselves. He found Sir Samuel Baker's map quite 
correct for the northern portion of the lake. It is difficult to find the 
exact juncture of the river and the lake, " the whole coast being sown 
with papyrus islands." The water is shallow and has no perceptible 
current From Magungo to the Murchison Falls the current does 
not exceed one knot an hour; but firom that point to the Karuma 
Rapids, nine miles below Foweira, the river is full of strong rapids. 
The banks were bordered by trees, and the country presented a very 
desolate appearance, being almost deserted by the natives on account 
of the wars between Kaba Rega and Aufina. There is now every 
reason to believe that Kaba Rega will come to terms, and accept the 
half of his kingdom, Rionga and Aufina occupying the other two 
quarters. There remains the placing of a steamer on the Vic- 
toria Nile to ply between Foweira, M'ruli, Urondogani and the 
Victoria Lake. The Nile may now be considered to be known 
throughout its whole course, with the exception of the branch flowing 
towards the north-west from the Nile after its issue from the Albert 
Lake, and also another branch discovered flowing out of Lake Ibrahim 
Pasha, which probably joins the River Sobat or River Asua. Should 
the connection be with the former river, it may provide greater faci- 
lities for communication than the main channel. Having accom- 
plished the principal objects he had before him. Colonel Gordon 
returned to Egypt in the autumn of 1876, arriving at Cairo with M. 
Gessi on December i, his health but little impaired by the marshy 
heat of the tropics and the constant worry of hostile tribes. He was 
cordially received by the Khedive, who presented him with the grand 
cross of the Order of the Medjidie, and on the 17th he embarked at 
Alexandria for England. He had wrought immense changes in the 
regions in which he had been engaged. Tribes that were hostile are 
now friendly, order has taken the place of disorder, and a line of 
posts, 50 to 100 miles apart, has been established from Khartoum to 
the Albert and Victoria Lakes, thus completing the communication 
between the Mediterranean and " the first great lake of the Equator." 
Cherif Pasha, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, in summing up the 
results which Gordon has achieved, says : " Ainsi est accompli 
Tannexion k TEgypte de tous les territoires sis autour des grands lacs 
Victoria et Albert, qui, avec leurs aflluents et le fleuve Somerset, 
ouvrent \ la navigation un vaste champ d*explorations que Gordon 
Pasha a pr^par^ jusqu'k present." A good test of the completeness 
of this work is afforded by the fact that the Colonel received his 
English newspapers with fair regularity seven weeks after the date 
of issue, and he himself travelled down to Cairo within that time. 
VOL. ccxLi. NO. 1760. p 

2 lo The GenHematis Magazine. 

There is, therefore, an open road from Cairo to the lakes ; but 
whether it is a road which will be found available for commerce 
yet remains to be proved. The total journey is 2,800 miles. In 
ascending the river from Cairo there is as far as Minieh a choice 
of rail or river ; from Minieh to Assouan and the first cataract 
there is steam communication, and, with a short land transfer of 
five miles, there is again the river to Korosko, below the second 
cataract. Here, where the river trends towards the west and rushes 
for miles over small cataracts, a wide stretch of desert is crossed, and 
the river again resumed at Berber. Thence for 1,000 miles or so 
past Khartoum to Gondokoro, and on by the cataract at Dufli to the 
lake, the river communication is again made use of. As the tropical 
district is entered the river becomes choked up with masses of vege- 
tation, which form into solid islands and present a total bar to pro- 
gress. In his work on the "Albert Nyanza," Sir Samuel Baker 
recounts his experience of these dams. In one place, he says, " the 
river had suddenly disappeared \ there was apparently an end to the 
White Nile. The dam was about three-quarters of a mile wide ; it 
was perfectly firm, and was already overgrown with high reeds and 
grass, thus forming a continuation of the surrounding country." 

There is at present much difficulty in obtaining food in the Upper 
Nile regions. It was necessary for the exploring party to carry with 
it all the supplies which would be required. The natives only grow 
enough corn round their villages for their own consumption ; the 
rest of the country is mere jungle, marsh, or forest ; and for two 
years Colonel Gordon and his men subsisted chiefly on beef, pre- 
served meats, coffee, and unleavened bread. The products of the 
country, however, can be developed to a wonderfiil extent Travellers 
tell us of the grain, sugar, cotton, coff*ee, gum, senna, dates, ivory, 
ebony, aromatic woods, dyes, potash, gold, skins, and ostrich feathers 
to be obtained there; and intercourse with the natives will doubtless 
soon result in the establishment of a regular trade in these 
articles. There is no doubt that the capabilities of the country are 
almost boundless. At present ivory is the sole product that is ex- 
ported, and in this Colonel Gordon has traded with great success. 
His profits, indeed, were such as to enable him to pay all the expenses 
of his province, including the pay of his men, his officials, and him- 
self, and to leave then a surplus for the Egyptian treasury. The 
revenue is stated roughly to be about ;^6o,ooo a year. The estab- 
blishment of safe communication with the Victoria Nyanza is a work 
which remains yet to be accomplished. The distance from the Albert 
Lake is not a long one; but navigation of the Victoria Nile or Somer- 

Colofiel Gordon's Expedition to the Upper Nik. 211 

set River, which connects the two lakes, is impossible, on account of 
the numerous marshes and cataracts which occur in its course. An 
overland road is therefore necessary, and for this the most direct 
route lies through the territory of Mtesa. He, however, hesitated to 
give permission for this way to be made use of Colonel Gordon 
believes that his consent may be won by playing off against him the 
hostile power of Usoga, which offers an alternative route between 
the two lakes. The whole available force composing the expedition 
was 2,000 men; and these had to be so divided, in order to protect 
the posts in the rear, that Gordon himself generally advanced with a 
mere handful of men. He has proved himself a good ruler, and left 
the province in a state of order and tranquillity. The natives referred 
to him for settlement of their quarrels ; his own men, draughted from 
the Egyptian prisons or enlisted from unfriendly tribes, are all de- 
voted to him; and he is known throughout the Nile district as a 
just and fearless ruler. In his efforts for the suppression of the 
slave-trade he was only partly successful, as he had not the cordial 
support of the native officials, who favour the slave-traders when 
they can, and only punish them when they must, and he was there- 
fore able only to repress it in those instances which came under his 
immediate notice. Whether the Egyptian Ck)vemment itself is sincerely 
desirous of annihilating the slave-trade is very doubtful In previous 
expeditions equipped and despatched with this avowed object- 
especially those of 1857, 1862, and that imder Sir Samuel Baker 
(1869-1872) — little was accomplished beyond the destruction of 
some of the slave- hunters' stations, whilst the slaughter of the 
natives, burning of their villages, and seizure of their cattle do not 
tend to confirm the humanitarian professions of the rulers of Egypt 
Now that Colonel Gordon has again been despatched to " the Pro- 
vince of the Equator," there is ground for hope that the death-knell 
of this traflSc is sounded. In a letter from Cairo, dated February 
17 of this year, he says: "His Highness to-day has signed the 
firman. He could not have given me greater powers. He has given 
me over the Soudan, in addition to the Province of the Equator and 
the littoral of the Red Sea, absolute authority over the finance, &c. 
I am astounded at the powers he has placed in my hands. With the 
Governor-Generalship of the Soudan, it will be my fault if slavery 
does not cease, and if these vast countries are not open to the world. 
So there is an end of slavery if God wills, for the whole secret of 
the matter is in the government of the Soudan, and if the man who 
holds that government is against it, it must cease." 

P 2 

2 1 2 The Gtntlemaris Magazine. 


FRANCIS BACON has laid it down as an axiom that experiment 
is the foundation of all real progress in knowledge. " Man," 
he said, " as the minister and interpreter of nature, does and under- 
stands as much as his observations on the order of nature permit 
him, and neither knows nor is capable of more." ^ It would seem, 
then, as if there could be no subject on which man should be better 
informed than on the value of various articles of food, and the 
quantity in which each should be used. On most branches of experi- 
mental inquiry, a few men in each age — perhaps but for a few ages in 
succession — have pursued for a longer or shorter portion of their 
life, a system of experiment and observation. But on the subject of 
food or diet all men in all ages have been practical experimenters, 
and not for a few years only, but during their entire life. One would 
expect, then, that no questions could be more decisively settled than 
those which relate to the use or the abuse of food. Everyone ought 
to know, it might be supposed, what kinds of food are good for the 
health, in what quantity each should be taken, what changes of diet 
tend to correct this or that kind of ill-health, and how long each change 
should be continued. 

Unfortunately, as we know, this is far from being the case. We 
all eat many things which are bad for us, and omit to eat many things 
which would be good for us. We change our diet, too often, without 
any consideration, or from false considerations, of the wants of the 
body. When we have derived benefit from some change of diet, 
we are apt to continue the new diet after the necessity for it has 
passed away. As to quantity, also, we seldom follow well-judged 
rules. Some take less nutriment (or less of some particular form of 
nutriment) than is needed to supply the absolute requirements of the 
system ; others persistently overload the system, despite all the 
warnings which their own experience and that of others should afford 
of the mischief likely to follow that course. 

» Closely following in this respect his illustrious namesake Roger, who writes, 
in the sixth chapter of his Of us Majusy ''Sine experientiA nihil sufficieiiter sciri 
potest:' - t 

The Use and Abuse of Food. 2 1 3 

It is only of late years that systematic efforts have been made to 
throw light on the subject of the proper use of food, to distinguish 
between its various forms, and to analyse the special office of each 
form. I propose to exhibit, in a popular manner, some of the 
more important practical conclusions to which men of science 
have been led by their investigations into these questions. 

The human body has been compared to a lamp in which a flame 
is burning. In some respects the comparison is a most apt one, as 
we shall see presently. But man does more than /ive; he works — 
with his brain or with his muscles. And therefore the human frame 
may be more justly compared to a steam-engine than to the flame of 
a lamp. Of mere life, the latter illustration is sufficiently apt, but it 
leaves unillustrated man's capacity for work ; and since food is taken 
with two principal objects — the maintenance of life and the renewal 
of material used up in brainwork and muscular work — we shall find 
that the comparison of man to a machine affords a far better illus- 
tration of our subject than the more common comparisons of the life 
of man to a burning flame, and of food to the fuel which serves to 
maintain combustion. 

There is, however, one class of food, and, perhaps, on the whole, the 
most important, the operation of which is equally well illustrated by 
either comparison. The sort of food to which I refer may be termed 
heat-maintaining food. I distinguish it thus from food which serves 
other ends, but of course it is not to be understood that any article of 
diet serves solely the end of maintaining heat. Accordingly, we find 
that heat-maintaining substance exists in nearly all the ordinary 
articles of food. Of these there are two — sugar and fat — which may 
be looked on as special " heat-givers." Starch, also, which appears 
in all vegetables, and thus comes to form a large proportion of our 
daily food, is a heat-giver. In fact, this substance only enters the 
system in the form of sugar, the saliva having the power of converting 
starch (which is insoluble in water) into sugar, and thus rendering it 
soluble and digestible. 

Starch, as I have said, appears in all vegetables. But it is found 
more freely in some than in others. It constitutes nearly the whole 
substance of arrowroot, sago, and tapioca, and appears more or less 
freely in potatoes, rice, wheat, barley, and oats. In the process of 
vegetation it is converted into sugar; and thus it happens that vege- 
table diet — whether presenting starch in its natural form to be converted 
into sugar by the consumer, or containing sugar which has resulted 
from a process of change undergone by starch — is in general heat- 
maintaiuing. Sugar is used as a convenient means of maintaining 

214 ^^ Gentleman's Magazine. 

the heat-supply ; for in eating sugar we are saved the trouble of con- 
verting starch into sugar. A love for sweet things is the instinctive 
expression of the necessity for heat-maintaining food. We see this 
liking strongly developed in children, whose rapid growth is con- 
tinually drawing upon their heat-supply. So far as adults are con- 
cerned, the taste for sweet food is found to prevail more in temperate 
than in tropical climes, as might be expected ; but, contrary to what 
we might at first expect, we do not find any increase in the liking for 
sweet food in very cold climates. Another and a more effective 
way of securing the required heat-supply prevails in such countries. 

As starch is converted into sugar, so by a further process sugar is 
converted into fat. It is by the conversion of sugar into fat that its 
heat-supplying power is made available. This conversion takes place 
in the vegetable as well as in the animal system, and thus fat appears 
in a variety of forms — as butter, suet, oil, and so forth. Now, precisely 
as sugar is a more convenient heat-supplier than starch, so fat ex- 
ceeds sugar in its power of maintaining animal heat. It has been calcu- 
lated that one pound of fat — whether in the form of suet, butter, or 
oil — will go as far towards the maintenance of animal heat as two 
pounds of sugar, or as two pounds and a half of starch. Thus it 
happens that in very cold countries there is developed a taste for 
such articles of food as contain most fat, or even for pure fat and its 
analogues — oil, butter, tallow, dripping, and other forms o( grease, 

I have spoken of starch, sugar, and fat as heat-forming articles of 
food; but I must note their influence in the development of muscles 
and nerves. Without a certain proportion of fat in the food a 
wasting of the tissues will always take place ; for muscles and nerves 
cannot form without fat. And conversely, the best remedy for 
wasting diseases is to be found in the supply of some easily-digestible 
form of fatty food. Well-fatted meat, and especially meat in which 
the fat is to be seen distributed through the flesh, may be taken 
under such circumstances. Butter and salad oil are then also proper 
articles of food. Cream is still better, and cream cheeses may be 
used with advantage. It is on account of its heat-supplying and fat- 
forming qualities that cod-liver oil has taken its place as one of the 
most valuable remedies for scrofulous and consumptive patients. 

But it must be noted that the formation of fat is not the object 
with which heat-supplying food is taken. It is an indication of 
derangement of the system when heat-giving food is too readily con- 
verted into fat And in so far as this process of conversion takes 
place beyond what is required for the formation of muscles and 
nerves, the body suffers in the loss of its just proportion of heat- 

The Use and Abuse of Food. 215 

supply. Of course, if too large an amount of heat-giving food is 
taken into the system, we may expect that the surplus will be de- 
posited in the form of adipose tissue. The deposition of fat in such 
a case will be far less injurious to the system than an excessive heat- 
supply would be. But when only a just amount of heat-giving food 
is taken, and in place of fulfilling its just office this food is converted 
into adipose tissue, it becomes necessary to inquire into the cause of 
the mischief Technically, the evil may be described as resulting 
from the deficient oxygenation of the heat- supplying food. This 
generally arises from defective circulation, and may often be cured by 
a very moderate but systematic increase in the amount of daily exer- 
cise, or by the use of the sponge-bath, or, lastly, by such changes in 
the dress — and especially in the articles of attire worn next to the 
skin — as tend to encourage a freer circulation of the blood. The 
tendency to accumulate fat may sometimes be traced to the use of 
over-warm coverings at night, and especially to the use of woollen 
night-clothes. By attending to considerations of this sort, more 
readily and safely than by an undue diminution of the amount of 
heat-supplying food, the tendency to obeseness may frequently be 

In warm weather we should diminish the supply of heat-giving 
food. In such weather the system does not require the same daily 
addition to-its animal heat, and the excess is converted into fat. Ex- 
periments have shown that despite the increased rate at which perspira- 
tion proceeds during the summer months, men uniformly fed throughout 
the year increase in weight in summer and lose weight in winter. 

So far as mere existence is concerned, heat-forming food may be 
looked upon as the real fuel on which the lamp of life is sustained. 
But man, considered as a working being, cannot exist without energy- 
forming food. All work, whether of the brain or of the limbs, 
involves the exhaustion of nervous and muscular matter ; and unless 
the exhausted matter be renewed, the work must come to an end. 
The supply of heat-giving food may be compared to the supply of 
fuel for the fire of a steam-engine. By means of this supply the^f/r 
is kept alive ; but if the fire have nothing to work upon, its energies 
are wasted or used to the injury of the machine itself. The supply 
of water, and its continual use (in the form of steam) in the propul- 
sion of the engine, are the processes corresponding to the continual 
exhaustion and renewal of the muscles and nerves of the human 
frame. And the comparison may be carried yet further. We see 
that in the case of the engine the amount of smoke, or rather of car- 
bonic acid, thrown out by the blast-pipe is a measure of the vital 

2 1 6 The Gentleman! s Magaeine. 

energy (so to speak) within the engine ; but the amount of work done 
by the engine is measured rather by the quantity of steam which is 
thrown out, because the elastic force of every particle of steam has 
been exerted in the propulsion of the engine before being thrown out 
through the blast-pipe. In a manner precisely corresponding to this, 
the amount of carbonic acid gas exhaled by a man is a measure of the 
rate at which mere existence is proceeding ; but the amount of work, 
mental or muscular, which the man achieves, is measured by the 
amount of used-up brain-material and muscle-material which is daily 
thrown off by the body. I shall presently show in what way this 
amount is estimated. 

In the composition of the muscles there is a material called ^r/Vi^, 
and in the composition of the nerves there is a material called albu- 
men. These are the substances ^ which are exhausted during mental 
and bodily labour, and which have to be renewed if we are to con- 
tinue working with our head or with our hands. Nay more, life 
itself involves work ; the heart, the lungs, the liver, each internal 
organ of the body, performs its share of work, just as a certain pro- 
portion of the power of a steam-engine is expended in merely moving 
the machinery which it sets in action. If the waste of material in- 
volved in this form of work is not compensated by a continual and 
sufficient supply of fibrine and albumen, the result will be a gradual 
lowering of all the powers of the system, until some one or other 
gives way — the heart ceases to beat, or the stomach to digest, or the 
liver to secrete bile — and so death ensues. 

The fibrine and albumen in the animal frame are derived exclu- 
sively from vegetables. For although we seem to derive a portion of 
the supply from animal food, yet the fibrine and albumen thus sup- 
plied have been derived in the beginning from the vegetable kingdom. 
" It is the peculiar property of the plant," says Dr. Lankester, " to be 
able, in the minute cells of which it is composed, to convert the car- 
bonic acid and ammonia which it gets from the atmosphere into 
fibrine and albumen, and by easy chemical processes we can separate 
these substances from our vegetable food. Wheat, barley, oats, rye, 
rice, all contain fibrine, and some of them also albumen. Potatoes, cab- 
bage, and asparagus contain albumen. It is a well-ascertained fact that 
those substances which contain most of these * nutritious secretions,' 


* Fibrine and albumen are identical in composition. Ccueine^ which is the 
coagulable portion of milk, is composed in the same manner. The chief distinc- 
tion between the three substances consists in their mode of coagulation ; fibrine 
coagulating spontaneously, albumen under the action of heat, and caseine by the 
action of acetic acid. 

The Use and Abuse of Food. ^17 

as they have been called, support life the longest" They change 
little during the process of digestion, entering the blood in a pure 
state, and being directly employed to renew the nervous and muscular 
matter which has been used up during work either mental or muscular. 
Thus the supply of these substances is continually being drawn upon. 
The carbon, which forms their principal constituent, is converted into 
carbonic acid; and the nitrogen, which forms about a sixth part of 
their substance, reappears in the nitrogen of urea, a substance which 
forms the principal solid constituent of the matter daily thrown from 
the system through the action of the kidneys. Thus the amount of 
urea which daily passes from the body affords a measure of the work 
done during the day. " This is not," says Dr. Lankester, " the mere 
dream of the theorist ; it has been practically demonstrated that 
increased stress upon the nervous system, viz., brainwork, emotion, 
or excitement from disease, increases the quantity of urea and the 
demand for nitrogenous food. In the same manner the amount of 
urea is the representative of the amount of muscular work done." 

It has been calculated that the average amount of urea daily 
formed in the body of a healthy man is about 470 grains. To supply 
this daily consumption of nitrogenous matter, it is necessary that 
about four ounces of flesh-forming substance should be consumed 
daily. It is important, therefore, to inquire how this substance may 
be obtained. The requisite quantity of albuminous and fibrinous 
matter " is contained," says Dr. Lankester, " in a pound of beef; in 
two pounds of eggs ; in two quarts of milk; in a pound of peas; 
in five pounds of rice ; in sixteen pounds of potatoes ; in two pounds 
of Indian meal ; in a pound and a half of oatmeal ; and in a pound 
and three-quarters of flour." A consideration of this list will show 
the importance of attending to the quality as well as the quantity of 
our food. A man of ordinary appetite might satisfy his hunger on 
potatoes or on rice, without by any means supplying his system with a 
sufficient amount of flesh-forming food. On the other hand, if a man 
were to live on bread and beef alone, he would load his system with 
an amount of nitrogenous food, although not taking what could be 
considered an excessive amount of daily nourishment We see, also, 
how it is possible to continually vary the form in which we take the 
required supply of nitrogenous food, without varying the amount of 
that supply from day to day. 

The supply itself should of course also vary from day to day as 
the amount of daily work may vary. What would be ample for a 
person performing a moderate amount of work would be insufficient 
for one who underwent daily great bodily or mental exertions, and 

2i8 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

would be too much for one who was taking holiday. It would 
appear, from the researches of Dr. Haughton, that the amount 
of urea daily formed in the body of a healthy man of average 
weight varies from 400 to 630 grains. Of this weight it appears 
that 300 grains results from the action of the internal organs. 
It would seem, therefore, that the amount of flesh-forming 
food indicated in the preceding paragraph may be diminished in 
the proportion of 47 to 40 in the case of a person taking the 
minimum of exercise — ^that is, avoiding all movements save those 
absolutely necessary for comfort or convenience. On the other 
hand, that amount must be increased in the proportion of 74 to 
63 in the case of a person (of average weight) working up to his 
full powers. It will be seen at once, therefore, that a hardworking 
man, whether labourer or thinker, must make good flesh-forming food 
constitute a considerable portion of his diet ; otherwise he would 
require to take an amount of food which would seriously interfere 
with his comfort and the due action of his digestive organs. For 
instance, if he lived on rice alone, he would require to ingest nearly 
seven pounds of food daily ; if on potatoes, he would require upwards 
of twenty-one pounds; whereas one pound and a third of meat 
would suflfice to supply the same amount of flesh-forming food. 

Men who have to work, quickly find out what they require in the 
way of food. The Irishman who, while doing little work, will live 
contentedly on potatoes, asks for better flesh-forming food when 
engaged in heavy labour. In fact, the employer of the working-man, 
so far from feeling aggrieved when his men require an improvement 
in their diet, either as respects quality or quantity, ought to look on 
the want as evidence that they are really working hard in his service, 
and also that they have a capacity for continuous work. The man 
who lives on less than the average share of flesh-forming food is 
doing less than an average amount of work ; the man who is imable 
to eat an average quantity of flesh-forming food, is unable to do an 
average amount of work. " ' On what principle do you discharge 
your men? * I once said," relates Dr. Lankester, " to a railway con- 
tractor. * Oh,' he said, * it's according to their appetites.' * But,' I 
said, * how do you judge of that ? ' * Why,' he said, * I send a clerk 
round when they are getting their dinners, and those who can't eat 
he marks with a bit of chalk, and we send them about their 
business.' " 

At a lecture delivered at the Royal Museum of Physics and 
Natural History at Florence, by Professor Mantegazza, a few years 
since, the Professor dwelt on the insufficient food which Italians are 

The Use and Abuse of Food. 219 

in the habit of taking, as among the most important causes of the 
weakness of the nation. " Italians/' he said, " you should follow ks - 
closely as you can the example of the English in yoiu: eating and in 
your drinking, in the choice of flesh-meat (in tossing off bumpera jq^: 
your rich wines),* in the quality of your coffee, your tea, and your • 
tobacco. I give you this advice, dear countrymen, not only as a 
medical man, but also as a patriot. It is quite evident, from the way 
millions of you perform the process which you call eating and drink* 
ing, that you have not the most elementary notions of the laws of 
physiology. You imagine that you are living. You are barely pro- 
longing existence on maccaroni and water-melons. You neither knoiw 
how to eat nor how to drink. You have no muscular energy ; and, 
therefore, you have no continuous mental energy. The weakness of 
the individual, multiplied many millions of times, results in the col- 
lective weakness of the nation. Hence results insufficient work, and ' 
thence insufficient production. Thus the returns of the tax-collector 
and the custom-house officer are scanty, and the national exchequer 
suflers accordingly." Nor is all this, strange as it may sound, the 
mere gossip of the lecture-room. " The question of good feeding,*' • 
says Dr. Lankester, " is one of national importance. It is vain to 
expect either brain or muscles to do efficient work when they are not 
provided with the proper material. Neither intellectual nor physical 
work can be done without good food." 

We have now considered the two principal forms of food, the heat- 
forming — sometimes Qsi^^6.\kitamylace(ms — constituents, and the flesh- 
forming or nitrogenous constituents. But there are other substances 
which, although forming a smaller proportion of the daily food, are yet • 
scarcely less important. Returning to our comparison of the human 
system to a steam-engine — ^we have seen how the heat-forming and 
flesh-forming constituents of food correspond to the supply of fuel and 
water; but an engine would quickly fall into a useless state if the wear 
and tear of the material of which it is constructed were not attended to 
and repaired. Now, in the human frame there are materials whidi 
are continually being used up, and which require to be continually • 
restored, if the system is to continue free from disease. These mate- 
rials are the mineral constituents of the system. Amongst them we 
must include watery which composes a much larger portion of our 
bodies than might be supposed. Seven-ninths of our weight consists 
simply of water. Every day there is a loss of about one-thirtieth 
part of this constituent of our system. The daily repair of this im- 

' To this article of the Professor's faith decided objection must be taken, however. 

220 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

portant waste of material is not effected by imbibing a corresponding 
supply of water. A large proportion of the weight of water daily 
lost is renewed in the solid food. Many vegetables consist prin- 
c^)ally of water. This is notably the case with potatoes. Where 
the water supplied to a district is bad, so that little water is con- 
sumed by the inhabitants — at least, without the addition of some 
other substance — it becomes important to notice the varying pro- 
portion of water present in different articles of food. As an instance 
of this, I may call attention to a remarkable circumstance ob- 
served during the failure of the potato-crops in Ireland. Notwith- 
standing the great losses which the people sustained at that time, 
it was noticed that the amount of tea imported into Ireland ex- 
hibited a remarkable increase. This seemed at first sight a some- 
what perplexing phenomenon. The explanation was recognised in 
the circumstance that the potato — a watery vegetable, as we have said 
— ^no longer formed the chief portion of the people's diet Thus the 
deficiency in the supply of water had to be made up by the use of a 
larger quantity of fluid food ; and as simple water was not palatable to 
the people, they drank tea in much larger quantities than they had been 
in the habit of taking before the famine. 

But we have to consider the other mineral constituents of the 

If I were to run through the list of all the minerals which exist 
within the body, I should weary the patience of the reader, and per- 
haps not add very much to the clearness of his ideas respecting the 
constitution of the human frame. Let it suffice to state generally 
that, according to the calculations of physiologists, a human body 
weighing 154 pounds, contains about 17^ pounds of mineral matter; 
and that the most important mineral compounds existing within 
the body are those which contain lime, soda, and potash. 
Without pretending to any strictly scientific accuracy in the 
classification, we may say that the lime is principally found in the 
bones, the soda in the blood, the potash in the muscles; and ac- 
cording as one or other of these important constituents is wanting in 
our food, so will the corresponding portions of the frame be found to 

We have a familiar illustration of the effects of unduly diminishing 
the supply of the mineral constituents of the body in the ravages 
which scurvy has worked amongst the crews of ships which have 
remained for a long period ill-supplied with firesh vegetables. Here 
it is chiefly the want of potash in the food which causes the mischief. 
An interesting instance of the rapid — almost startling — effects of food 

The Use and Abtise of Food. .221 

containing potash, in the cure of men stricken by scurvy, is related 
by Dana. The crew of a ship which had been several months at 
sea, but was now nearing the land, were prostrated by the ravages of 
scurvy. Nearly all seemed hopelessly ill. One young lad was 
apparently dying, the livid spots which were spreading over his limbs 
seeming to betoken his rapidly approaching end. At this moment a 
ship appeared in view which had but lately left the land, and was 
laden with fresh vegetables. Before long large quantities of 'the 
life-bearing food had been transferred to the decks of the other ship. 
The instincts of life taught the poor scurvy-stricken wretches to 
choose the vegetable which of all others was best suited to supply the 
want under which their frames were wasting. They also were led by 
the same truthful instincts to prefer the raw to cooked vegetables. 
Thus the sick were to be seen eating raw onions with a greater 
relish than the gourmand shows for the most appetising viands. But 
the poor lad who was the worst of the sufferers had already lost the 
power of eating; and it was without a hope of saving his life that 
some of his companions squeezed the juice of onions between his 
lips, already quivering with the tremor of approaching death. He 
swallowed a few drops, and presently asked for more. Shortly he 
began to revive, and to the amazement of all those who had seen the 
state of prostration to which he had been reduced, he regained in a 
few days his usual health and strength. 

The elements which we require in order to supply the daily 
waste of the mineral constituents of the body are contained in 
greater or less quantities in nearly all the articles which man uses for 
food. But it may readily happen that, by adopting an ill-regulated 
diet, a man may not take a sufficient quantity of these important 
elements. It must also be noticed that articles of food, both animal 
and vegetable, may be deprived of a large proportion of their 
mineral elements by boiling ; and if, as often happens, the water in 
which the food has been boiled is thrown away, injurious effects can 
scarcely fail to result from the free use of food which has lost so 
important a portion of its constituent elements. Accordingly, when 
persons partake much of boiled meat, they should either consume the 
broth with the meat, or use it as soup on the alternate days. 
Vegetables steamed in small quantises of water (this water being 
taken with them), also afford a valuable addition to boiled meat In 
fact, experience seems to have suggested the advantage of mixing 
carrots, parsnips, turnips, and greens with boiled meat ; but unfor- 
tunately the addition is not always made in a proper manner. If the 
vegetables are boiled separately in large quantities of water, and 

222 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

' served up after this water has been thrown away, more harm than 
good is done by the addition; since the appetite is satisfied with 
comparatively useless food, instead of being left free to choose, as it 
might otherwise do, such forms of food as would best supply the 
requirements of the system. Salads and uncooked fruits, for instance, 
contain saline ingredients in large proportion, and could be used 
advantageously after a meal of boiled meat Potatoes are likewise 
a valuable article of food on account of the mineral elements con- 
tained in them. And there can be no doubt that the value of potatoes 
as an article of food is largely increased when they are cooked in 
their skins, after the Irish fashion. 

Lastly, we must consider those articles of food which promote 
the natural vital changes, but do not themselves come to form part 
of the frame, or, at least, not in any large proportion of their bulk. 
Such are tea, coffee, and cocoa ; alcoholic drinks ; narcotics ; and 

. lastly, spices and condiments. We may compare the use of these 
articles of food to that of oil in lubricating various parts of a steam- 
engine. For, as the oil neither forms part of the heat-supply nor of 
the force-supply of the steam-engine, nor is used to replace the worn 
material of its structure, yet serves to render the movements of the 
machine more equable and effective, so the forms of food we are 
considering are neither heat-producing nor flesh-forming, nor do they 
serve to replace, to any great exent, the mineral constituents of the 
body, yet they produce a sense of refreshment accompanied with 
renewed vigour. It is difficult to determine in what precise way these 
effects are produced, but no doubt can exist as to the fact that they 
are really attributable to the forms of food to which we have assigned 

Tea, coffee, and cocoa owe their influence on the nervous system 
to the presence of a substance which has received the various names 
oitheifie^ caffeine^ and theobromine. It is identical in composition with 
piperine^ the most important ingredient in pepper. It may be 
separated in the form of delicate white, silky crystals, which have a 
bitter taste. In its concentrated form this substance is poisonous, 
and to this circumstance must be ascribed the ill effects which follow 
from the too free use of strong tea or coffee. However, the instances 
of bad effects resulting from the use of " the cup which cheers but 
not inebriates " are few and far between, while the benefits derived 
from it are recognised on all hands. It has, indeed, been stated that 
no nation which has begun to make use of tea, coffee, or cocoa, has 
ever given up the practice; and no stronger evidence can be required 
of the value of those articles of food. 

The Use and Abuse of Food. 253 

Of alcoholic liquors it is impossible to speak so favourably. Theyare 
made use of, indeed, almost as extensively as tea or cofifee ; they have 
been made the theme of the poet, and hailed as the emblems of all 
that is genial and convivial. Yet there can be little doubt that, when 
a balance is struck between the good and evil which have resulted 
to man from their use, the latter is found largely to preponderate. 
The consideration of these evils belongs, however, rather to the moralist 
than to the physiologist I have here simply to consider alcoholic 
liquors as articles of food. There can be little doubt that, when used 
with caution and judgment, they afford in certain cases an important 
adjunct to those articles which are directly apphed to the reparation 
of bodily waste. Without absolutely nourishing the frame, they 
ultimately lead to this end by encouraging the digestive processes 
which result in the assimilation of nutritive articles of food. But the 
quantity of alcohol necessary to effect this is far less than is usually 
taken even by persons who are termed temperate. It is also certain 
that hundreds make use of alcoholic liquors who have no necessity 
for them, and who would be better without them. Those who require 
them most are men who lead a studious sedentary life ; and it is such 
men, also, who suffer most from excess in the use of alcoholic 

It remains that I should make a few remarks on mistakes re- 
specting the quantity of food. 

Some persons fall into the habit of taking an excessive quantity 
of food, not from greediness, but from the idea that a large amount of 
food is necessary for the maintenance of their strength. They thus 
overtax the digestive organs, and not only fail of their purpose, but 
weaken instead of strengthening the system. Especially serious is 
the mistake often made by persons in delicate health of swallowing 
— no other word can be used, for the digestive organs altogether 
refuse to respond to the action of the mouth — large quantities of some 
concentrated form of food, such as even the strongest stomach could 
not deal with in that form. I knew a person who, though suffering 
from weakness such as should have suggested the blandest and 
simplest forms of food, adopted as a suitable breakfiast mutton-chops 
and botded stout, arguing, when remonstrated with, that he required 
more support than persons in stronger health. He was simply requiring 
his weak digestive organs to accomplish work which would have taxed 
the digestive energies of the most stalwart labourer working daily 
in the open air for many hours. 

On the other hand, a too abstemious diet is as erroneous in prin- 
ciple as a diet in excess of the natural requirements of the system 



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AT the present moment, when there is an idea of inflicting a 
mortal blow on esprit de corps by the formation of " territorial 
regiments," some information regarding the distinctions, traditions, and 
anecdotes of the different regiments may not prove uninteresting to 
the public. 

The senior regiments of cavalry are the ist and 2nd Life Guards 
and the Royal Horse Guards, constituting the Household Brigade. 
The first two took their origin from the four troops of Life Guards 
and one of Horse raised by Charles II. at the Restoration. The former 
comprised one troop called Scottish Life Guards, which was for some 
years always quartered in Scotland. This is the troop mentioned in 
" Old Mortality." The Life Guards were all men of family, generally 
younger sons, and were officially and on parade addressed as " Gentle- 
men of the Life Guards." To each troop was attached a troop of 
Horse Grenadier Guards, composed of men of inferior social position. 
The troops of Horse Grenadier Guards — who were dragoons in- 
tended on occasion to act on foot with hand grenades and muskets 
— were, after a time, virtually separated from the Life Guards. The 
Life Guards— frequently called Horse Guards — were so highly pri- 
vileged that the captain was a colonel, the two lieutenants lieutenant- 
colonels, and the comet and the guidon majors. There were also 
exempts with the rank of captain, brigadiers — originally corporals — 
with the rank of lieutenant, and sub-brigadiers — originally sub- 
corporals — who were cornets. The duties of non-commissioned officers 
were performed by select private gentlemen, who were termed " right- 
hand men." In 1756 the four senior "right-hand men" in each 
troop were appointed warrant officers with the title of quartermaster, 
and the four junior "right-hand men" "corporals of Horse." In 
1788 the corps of Life Guards, sometimes called "Horse Guards," 
and the Horse Grenadier Guards were converted into the first and 
second regiments of Life Guards. Up to that date the gentlemen of 
the Life Guards had purchased their appointments, and held them by 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1760. Q 

226 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

indenture. It was ordered that for the future all men of the Life 
Guards should be enlisted and attested. Being no longer reqpred to 
provide their own horses and forage, their pay was reduced. The 
gentlemen of the Life Guards who wished to leave the service 
were pensioned. It may interest some of our readers to leani that 
the Portman Street Barracks, demolished about a score of years ago, 
was for some time occupied by the Horse Grenadier Guards. The 
origin of Goldstick and Silverstick was the Rye House Plot After 
that event, one of the captains, carrying an ebony staff with a gold head, 
a junior officer with a silver-headed staff, and two brigadiers with 
ivory-headed truncheons remained in immediate attendance on the 
sovereign from morning till night. In the early part of the reign of 
George III. the attendance of the officers bearing the ivory trun- 
cheons was dispensed with, but on all state occasions the Goldstick 
and Silverstick — i.e. a colonel and a lieutenant-colonel of the House- 
hold cavalry — are still in attendance on the Queen. It is a tacit rule, 
rarely departed from, that the Goldstick must be a Peer. Formerly 
there was only one gold and one silver stick, which were handed horn 
officer to officer as the duty changed hands. William IV., however, 
provided three gold sticks for the three colonels of Household cavalry. 
The story of the innovation is related in the " Memoirs of Field- 
Marshal Viscount Combermfere." It appears that the King summoned 
the three colonels — one of whom was the Duke of Cumberland — to 
Windsor, and commenced with a complaint that, whenever the gold 
stick was wanted, it was sure to have been mislaid or not to have been 
handed over by the last officer who held it. After reprimanding his 
astonished auditors for their carelessness, he said : " Now, my Lords, I 
understand etiquette better than anyone, and have provided a gold stick 
for each colonel, so that there may be no more excuses on the subject," 
and with that he distributed three bitons amongst them. The House- 
hold cavalry, now so universally popular with the public, were at one 
time in great disfavour with the lower classes of Londoners on 
account of the energetic manner in which they performed their 
duty on the occasion of the arrest of Sir Francis Burdett. In 
consequence, they were for years afterwards vulgarly called " Pic- 
cadilly Butchers." The officers are now for the most part members 
of the best families in the kingdom, but at one period there was a 
large infusion of men connected with trade. They were in con- 
sequence derisively spoken of by their comrades of the Foot Guards 
as " Cheeses." Everyone is familiar with the appearance of the 
cream-coloured charger ridden by the kettle-drummer in each regi- 
ment of Life Guards. It may not, however, be generally known that 
this horse is always presented by the Queen. 

- Regimental Distinctions. 227 

The Royal ;Horse Guards Blue, or the " Blues," as they are 
finniliarly called, how form an acknowledged portion of the House- 
hold Cavalry Brigade. They were originally officially termed the 
"Ring's Own Regiment of Horse Guards," but more generally the 
** Earl of Oxford's Regiment" In 1690 they received the name of 
"Oxford Blues;" to distinguish the regiment from a Dutch regiment of 
horse, likewise clothed in blue, which served with it in Ireland. From 
the first they had a close connection with the Court, and were constantly 
employed in escorting the sovereign, save firom 1763 till 1804. Mr. 
Cannon, in his official history of the regiment, considers that it was 
at first relieved from Court duties in order to enable it to recruit and 
rest after the feitigues of the Seven Years' War, and afterwards treated 
as an ordinary cavalry regiment through the influence of the Life 
Guards. It is certain, whatever the cause, that it was so treated. In 
1804 it was brought to Windsor, where it remained till 182 1, when 
for the first time it resumed its former duties in London, and was 
r^ularly incorporated with the Household Brigade. Even now, 
however, there is a distinction between it and the other two regiments. 
In the Life Guards the major is major and lieutenant-colonel, while 
in the Blues he is only major and brevet lieutenant-colonel. 

George III., from his constant residence at Windsor, had been 
brought much into contact with the Blues, and was for many years in 
the habit of wearing its uniform. Upon his death the suit was pre- 
sented to the corps, and has been carefully preserved by it There 
was long current in the army a tradition, which many not very old 
soldiers will perhaps call to mind, that the Blues were deprived of 
their gold lace for having run away during the campaign in Flanders 
in 1794. It is needless to say that the report was quite without 
foundation. The facts of the case are as follows : During the 
absence of four troops of the regiment on service their new clothing 
became due. A parade uniform being deemed unsuited for the field, 
a plain one was issued. On their return their colonel, in order to 
add to his emolimients from clothing, established uniformity by 
ordering the gold-laced coats of the home troops to be laid aside, 
and coats of the same pattern as those of the other four to be worn 

The I St ("The King's") Dragoon Guards, styled by soldiers for 
brevity the " K.D.G.'s," was raised in 1685, ^^^ given the title of 
" Queen's Regiment of Horse." On the accession of George I. it was 
renamed the " King^ Regiment of Horse." In his reign it furnished, in 
turn with other regiments of horse, detachments to assist the Life 
Guards in the paformance of London duties. After the suppression 

Q 2 

2 1 8 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

would be too much for one who was taking holiday. It would 
appear, from the researches of Dr. Haughton, that the amount 
of urea daily formed in the body of a healthy man of average 
weight varies from 400 to 630 grains. Of this weight it appears 
that 300 grains results from the action of the internal organs. 
It would seem, therefore, that the amount of flesh-forming 
food indicated in the preceding paragraph may be diminished in 
the proportion of 47 to 40 in the case of a person taking the 
minimum of exercise — that is, avoiding all movements save those 
absolutely necessary for comfort or convenience. On the other 
hand, that amount must be increased in the proportion of 74 to 
63 in the case of a person (of average weight) working up to his 
full powers. It will be seen at once, therefore, that a hardworking 
man, whether labourer or thinker, must make good flesh-forming food 
constitute a considerable portion of his diet ; otherwise he would 
require to take an amount of food which would seriously interfere 
with his comfort and the due action of his digestive organs. For 
instance, if he lived on rice alone, he would require to ingest nearly 
seven pounds of food daily ; if on potatoes, he would require upwards 
of twenty-one pounds; whereas one pound and a third of meat 
would suffice to supply the same amount of flesh-forming food. 

Men who have to work, quickly find out what they require in the 
way of food. The Irishman who, while doing little work, will live 
contentedly on potatoes, asks for better flesh-forming food when 
engaged in heavy labour. In fact, the employer of the working-man, 
so fer from feeling aggrieved when his men require an improvement 
in their diet, either as respects quality or quantity, ought to look on 
the want as evidence that they are really working hard in his service, 
and also that they have a capacity for continuous work. The man 
who lives on less than the average share of flesh-forming food is 
doing less than an average amount of work ; the man who is unable 
to eat an average quantity of flesh-forming food, is unable to do an 
average amount of work. " * On what principle do you discharge 
3rour men? ' I once said," relates Dr. Lankester, " to a railway con- 
tractor. * Oh,' he said, * it's according to their appetites.' ' But,' I 
said, * how do you judge of that ? ' * Why,' he said, * I send a clerk 
round when they are getting their dinners, and those who can't eat 
he marks with a bit of chalk, and we send them about their 
business.' " 

At a lecture delivered at the Royal Museum of Physics and 
Natural History at Florence, by Professor Mantegazza, a few years 
since, the Professor dwelt on the insufl&dent food which Italians are 

The Use and Abuse of Food. 219 

in the habit of taking, as among the most important causes of die 
weakness of the nation. ^' Italians/' he said, '' you should follow as ' 
closely as you can the example of the English in your eating and in 
your drinking, in the choice of flesh-meat (in tossing off bumpers, of 
your rich wines),* in the quality of your coffee, your tea, and your ' 
tobacco. I give you this advice, dear countrymen, not only as a 
medical man, but also as a patriot. It is quite evident, from the way 
millions of you perform the process which you call eatiog and drink- 
ing, that you have not the most elementary notions of the laws of 
physiology. You imagine that you are living. You are barely pro- 
longing existence on maccaroni and water-melons. You neither know 
how to eat nor how to drink. You have no muscular eneigy ; and^ 
therefore, you have no continuous mental eneigy. The weakness of 
the individual, multiplied many millions of times, results in the col- 
lective weakness of the nation. Hence results insufficient work, and ■ 
thence insufficient production. Thus the returns of the tax-collector 
and the custom-house officer are scanty, and the national exchequer 
suffers accordingly." Nor is all this, strange as it may sound, the 
mere gossip of the lecture-room. " The question of good feeding,*' ' 
says Dr. Lankester, '' is one of national importance. It is vain to 
expect either brain or muscles to do efficient work when they are not 
provided with the proper material. Neither intellectual nor physical 
work can be done without good food." 

We have now considered the two principal forms of food, the heat- 
forming — sometimes called Xht amylaceous — constituents, and the flesh- 
forming or nitrogenous constituents. But there are other substances 
which, although forming a smaller proportion of the daily food, are yet- 
scarcely less important Returning to our comparison of the human 
system to a steam-engine — ^we have seen how the heat-forming and 
flesh-forming constituents of food correspond to the supply of fuel and 
water; but an engine would quickly fall into a useless state if the wear 
and tear of the material of which it is constructed were not attended to 
and repaired. Now, in the human frame there are materials which 
are continually being used up, and which require to be continually 
restored, if the system is to continue free from disease. These mate- 
rials are the mineral constituents of the system. Amongst them we 
must include water, which composes a much larger portion of our 
bodies than might be supposed. Seven-ninths of our weight consists 
simply of water. Every day there is a loss of about one-thirtieth 
part of this constituent of our system. The daily repair of this im- 

* To this article of the Professor's faith decided objection must be taken, however. 

2 20 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

portant waste of material is not effected by imbibing a corresponding 
supply of water. A large proportion of the weight of water daily 
lost is renewed in the solid food. Many vegetables consist prin- 
cipally of water. This is notably the case with potatoes. Where 
the water supplied to a district is bad, so that little water is con- 
siuned by the inhabitants — at least, without the addition of some 
other substance — it becomes important to notice the varying pro- 
portion of water present in different articles of food. As an instance 
of this, I may call attention to a remarkable circumstance ob- 
served during the failure of the potato-crops in Ireland. Notwith- 
standing the great losses which the people sustained at that time, 
it was noticed that the amount of tea imported into Ireland ex- 
hibited a remarkable increase. This seemed at first sight a some- 
what perplexing phenomenon. The explanation was recognised in 
the circumstance that the potato — a watery vegetable, as we have said 
— no longer formed the chief portion of the people's diet. Thus the 
deficiency in the supply of water had to be made up by the use of a 
laiger quantity of fluid food ; and as simple water was not palatable to 
the people, they drank tea in much larger quantities than they had been 
in the habit of taking before the famine. 

But we have to consider the other mineral constituents of the 

If I were to run through the list of all the minerals which exist 
within the body, I should weary the patience of the reader, and per- 
haps not add very much to the clearness of his ideas respecting the 
constitution of the human frame. Let it suffice to state generally 
that, according to the calculations of physiologists, a human body 
weighing 154 pounds, contains about 17^ pounds of mineral matter; 
and that the most important mineral compounds existing within 
the body are those which contain lime, soda, and potash. 
Without pretending to any strictly scientific accuracy in the 
classification, we may say that the lime is principally found in the 
bones, the soda in the blood, the potash in the muscles; and ac- 
cording as one or other of these important constituents is wanting in 
our food, so will the corresponding portions of the frame be found to 

We have a familiar illustration of the effects of unduly diminishing 
the supply of the mineral constituents of the body in the ravages 
which scurvy has worked amongst the crews of ships which have 
remained for a long period ill-supplied with fresh vegetables. Here 
it is chiefly the want of potash in the food which causes the mischief. 
An interesting instance of the rapid — almost startling — effects of food 

The Use and Abuse of Food. .221 

containing potash, in the cure of men stricken by scurvy, is related 
by Dana. The crew of a ship which had been several months at 
sea, but was now nearing the land, were prostrated by the ravages of 
scurvy. Nearly all seemed hopelessly ill. One young lad was 
apparently dying, the livid spots which were spreading over his limbs 
seeming to betoken his rapidly approaching end. At this moment a 
ship appeared in view which had but lately left the land, and was 
laden with fresh vegetables. Before long large quantities of 'the 
life-bearing food had been transferred to the decks of the other ship. 
The instincts of life taught the poor scurvy-stricken wretches to 
choose the vegetable which of all others was best suited to supply the 
want under which their ftames were wasting. They also were led by 
the same truthful instincts to prefer the raw to cooked vegetables. 
Thus the sick were to be seen eating raw onions with a greater 
relish than the gourmand shows for the most appetising viands. But 
the poor lad who was the worst of the sufferers had already lost the 
power of eating; and it was without a hope of saving his life that 
some of his companions squeezed the juice of onions between his 
lips, already quivering with the tremor of approaching death. He 
swallowed a few drops, and presently asked for more. Shortly he 
began to revive, and to the amazement of all those who had seen the 
state of prostration to which he had been reduced, he regained in a 
few days his usual health and strength. 

The elements which we require in order to supply the daily 
waste of the mineral constituents of the body are contained in 
greater or less quantities in nearly all the articles which man uses for 
food. But it may readily happen that, by adopting an ill-regulated 
diet, a man may not take a sufficient quantity of these important 
elements. It must also be noticed that articles of food, both animal 
and vegetable, may be deprived of a large proportion of their 
mineral elements by boiling ; and if, as often happens, the water in 
which the food has been boiled is thrown away, injurious effects can 
scarcely fail to result from the free use of food which has lost so 
important a portion of its constituent elements. Accordingly, when 
persons partake much of boiled meat, they should either consume the 
broth with the meat, or use it as soup on the alternate days. 
Vegetables steamed in small quantities of water (this water being 
taken with them), also afford a valuable addition to boiled meat In 
fact, experience seems to have suggested the advantage of mixing 
carrots, parsnips, turnips, and greens with boiled meat ; but unfor- 
tunately the addition is not always made in a proper manner. If the 
vegetables are boiled separately in large quantities of water, and 

222 The Gentlenuin's Magazine. 

' served up after this water has been thrown away, more harm than 
good is done by the addition; since the appetite is satisfied with 
comparatively useless food, instead of being left free to choose, as it 
might otherwise do, such forms of food as would best supply the 
requirements of the system. Salads and uncooked fruits, for instance, 
contain saline ingredients in large proportion, and could be used 
advantageously after a meal of boiled meat Potatoes are likewise 
a valuable article of food on account of the mineral elements con- 
tained in them. And there can be no doubt that the value of potatoes 
as an article of food is largely increased when they are cooked in 
their skins, after the Irish fashion. 

Lastly, we must consider those articles of food which promote 
the natural vital changes, but do not themselves come to form part 
of the frame, or, at least, not in any large proportion of their bulk. 
Such are tea, coffee, and cocoa ; alcoholic drinks ; narcotics ; and 

. lastly, spices and condiments. We may compare the use of these 
articles of food to that of oil in lubricating various parts of a steam- 
engine. For, as the oil neither forms part of the heat-supply nor of 
the force-supply of the steam-engine, nor is used to replace the worn 
material of its structure, yet serves to render the movements of the 
machine more equable and effective, so the forms of food we are 
considering are neither heat-producing nor flesh-forming, nor do they 
serve to replace, to any great exent, the mineral constituents of the 
body, yet they produce a sense of refreshment accompanied with 
renewed vigour. It is difficult to determine in what precise way these 
effects are produced, but no doubt can exist as to the fact that they 
are really attributable to the forms of food to which we have assigned 

Tea, coffee, and cocoa owe their influence on the nervous system 
to the presence of a substance which has received the various names 
oftheifiey caffeine, and theobromine. It is identical in composition with 
piperine, the most important ingredient in pepper. It may be 
separated in the form of delicate white, silky crystals, which have a 
bitter taste. In its concentrated form this substance is poisonous, 
and to this circumstance must be ascribed the ill effects which follow 
from the too free use of strong tea or coffee. However, the instances 
of bad effects resulting from the use of " the cup which cheers but 
not inebriates " are few and far between, while the benefits derived 
from it are recognised on all hands. It has, indeed, been stated that 
no nation which has begun to make use of tea, coffee, or cocoa, has 
ever given up the practice; and no stronger evidence can be required 
of the value of those articles of food. 

The Use and Abuse of Food. 253 

Of alcoholic liquors it is impossible to speak so favourably. Theyare 
made use of, indeed, almost as extensively as tea or coffee ; they have 
been made the theme of the poet, and hailed as the emblems of all 
that is genial and convivial. Yet there can be little doubt that, when 
a balance is struck between the good and evil which have resulted 
to man from their use, the latter is found largely to preponderate. 
The consideration of these evils belongs, however, rather to the moralist 
than to the physiologist I have here simply to consider alcoholic 
liquors as articles of food. There can be little doubt that, when used 
with caution and judgment, they afford in certain cases an important 
adjunct to those articles which are directly appHed to the reparation 
of bodily waste. Without absolutely nourishing the frame, they 
ultimately lead to this end by encouraging the digestive processes 
which result in the assimilation of nutritive articles of food. But the 
quantity of alcohol necessary to effect this is far less than is usually 
taken even by persons who are termed temperate. It is also certain 
that hundreds make use of alcoholic liquors who have no necessity 
for them, and who would be better without them. Those who require 
them most are men who lead a studious sedentary life ; and it is such 
men, also, who suffer most from excess in the use of alcoholic 

It remains that I should make a few remarks on mistakes re- 
specting the quantity of food. 

Some persons fall into the habit of taking an excessive quantity 
of food, not from greediness, but from the idea that a large amount of 
food is necessary for the maintenance of their strength. They thus 
overtax the digestive organs, and not only fail of their purpose, but 
weaken instead of strengthening the system. Especially serious is 
the mistake often made by persons in delicate health of swaUowing 
— no other word can be used, for the digestive organs altogether 
refuse to respond to the action of the mouth — large quantities of some 
concentrated form of food, such as even the strongest stomach could 
not deal with in that form. I knew a person who, though suffering 
from weakness such as should have suggested the blandest and 
simplest forms of food, adopted as a suitable breakfast mutton-chops 
and botded stout, arguing, when remonstrated with, that he required 
more support than persons in stronger health. He was simply requiring 
his weak digestive organs to accomplish work which would have taxed 
the digestive energies of the most stalwart labourer working daily 
in the open air for many hours. 

On die other hand, a too abstemious diet is as erroneous in prin- 
ciple as a diet in excess of the natural requirements of the S3rstem 

224 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

A diet which is simply too abstemious is perhaps less dangerous than 
persistent abstinence from the use of certain necessary forms of food. 
Nature generally suffices to prevent us from injuring ourselves by 
unwisely diminishing the quantity of food we take ; but, unfortunately, 
she is not always equally decided in her admonitions respecting the 
quality of our food. A man may be injuring his health through a 
deficiency in the amount either of the heat-forming or of the flesh- 
forming food which he consumes, and yet know nothing of the origin 
of the mischief. It may also be noted that systematic abstinence 
either as respects quantity or quality of food is much more dangerous 
than an occasional fast. Indeed, it is not generally injurious either 
to abstain for several days from particular articles or forms of food, 
or to remain for several hours beyond the usual interval between 
meals without food of any sort. On the contrary, benefit often arises 
from each practice. The Emperor Aurelian used to attribute the good 
health he enjoyed to his habit of abstaining for a whole day, once a 
month, from food of all sorts; and many have found the Lenten rules 
of abstinence beneficial. As a rule, however, change of diet is a 
safer measure than periodical fasting or abstinence from either heat- 
producing or flesh-forming food. It must be noticed, in conclusion, 
that young persons ought not, without medical advice, to fast or 
abstain for any length of time from the more important forms of 
food, as serious mischief to the digestive organs has frequently been 
known to follow from either course. 




AT the present moment, when there is an idea of inflicting a 
mortal blow on esprit de corps by the formation of " territorial 
regiments," some information regarding the distinctions, traditions, and 
anecdotes of the different regiments may not prove uninteresting to 
the public. 

The senior regiments of cavalry are the ist and 2nd Life Guards 
and the Royal Horse Guards, constituting the Household Brigade. 
The first two took their origin from the four troops of Life Guards 
and one of Horse raised by Charles 11. at the Restoration. The former 
comprised one troop called Scottish Life Guards, which was for some 
years always quartered in Scotland. This is the troop mentioned in 
" Old Mortality." The Life Guards were all men of family, generally 
younger sons, and were officially and on parade addressed as " Gentle- 
men of the Life Guards." To each troop was attached a troop of 
Horse Grenadier Guards, composed of men of inferior social position. 
The troops of Horse Grenadier Guards — who were dragoons in- 
tended on occasion to act on foot with hand grenades and muskets 
— were, after a time, virtually separated from the Life Guards. The 
Life Guards— frequently called Horse Guards — ^were so highly pri- 
vileged that the captain was a colonel, the two lieutenants lieutenant- 
colonels, and the comet and the guidon majors. There were also 
exempts with the rank of captain, brigadiers — originally corporals — 
with the rank of lieutenant, and sub-brigadiers — originally sub- 
corporals — who were comets. The duties of non-commissioned officers 
were performed by select private gentlemen, who were termed " right- 
hand men." In 1756 the four senior "right-hand men" in each 
troop were appointed warrant officers with the title of quartermaster, 
and the four junior " right-hand men " " corporals of Horse." In 
1788 the corps of Life Guards, sometimes called "Horse Guards," 
and the Horse Grenadier Guards were converted into the first and 
second regiments of Life Guards. Up to that date the gentlemen of 
the Life Guards had purchased their appointments, and held them by 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1760. Q 

226 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

indenture. It was ordered that for the future all men of the Life 
Guards should be enlisted and attested. Being no longer recyiired to 
provide their own horses and forage, their pay was reduced. The 
gentlemen of the Life Guards who wished to leave the service 
were pensioned. It may interest some of our readers to learn that 
the Portman Street Barracks, demolished about a score of years ago, 
was for some time occupied by the Horse Grenadier Guards. The 
origin of Goldstick and Silverstick was the Rye House Plot After 
that event, one of the captains, carrying an ebony staff with a gold head, 
a junior officer with a silver-headed staff, and two brigadiers with 
ivory-headed truncheons remained in immediate attendance on the 
sovereign from morning till night. In the early part of the reign of 
George III. the attendance of the officers bearing the ivory trun- 
cheons was dispensed with, but on all state occasions the Gk)ldstick 
and Silverstick — i.e. a colonel and a lieutenant-colonel of the House- 
hold cavalry — are still in attendance on the Queen. It is a tacit rule, 
rarely departed from, that the Goldstick must be a Peer. Formerly 
there was only one gold and one silver stick, which were handed from 
officer to officer as the duty changed hands. William IV., however, 
provided three gold sticks for the three colonels of Household cavalry. 
The story of the innovation is related in the " Memoirs of Field- 
Marshal Viscount Combermere." It appears that the King summoned 
the three colonels — one of whom was the Duke of Cumberland — to 
Windsor, and commenced with a complaint that, whenever the gold 
stick was wanted, it was sure to have been mislaid or not to have been 
handed over by the last officer who held it. After reprimanding his 
astonished auditors for their carelessness, he said : " Now, my Lords, I 
understand etiquette better than anyone, and have provided a gold stick 
for each colonel, so that there may be no more excuses on the subject," 
and with that he distributed three bitons amongst them. The House- 
hold cavalry, now so universally popular with the public, were at one 
time in great disfavour with the lower classes of Londoners on 
account of the energetic manner in which they performed their 
duty on the occasion of the arrest of Sir Francis Burdett. In 
consequence, they were for years afterwards vulgarly called " Pic- 
cadilly Butchers." The officers are now for the most part members 
of the best families in the kingdom, but at one period there was a 
large infusion of men connected with trade. They were in con- 
sequence derisively spoken of by their comrades of the Foot Guards 
as " Cheeses." Everyone is familiar with the appearance of the 
cream-coloured charger ridden by the kettle-drummer in each regi- 
ment of Life Guards. It may not, however, be generally known that 
this horse is always presented by the Queen. 

Regimental Distinctions. 227 

The Royal Horse Guards Blue, or the "Blues," as they are 
familiarly called, now form an acknowledged portion of the House- 
hold Cavalry Brigade. They were originally officially termed the 
"King's Own Regiment of Horse Guards," but more generally the 
"Earl of Oxford's Regiment" In 1690 they received the name of 
"Oxford Blues," to distinguish the regiment from a Dutch regiment of 
horse, likewise clothed in blue, which served with it in Ireland. From 
the first they had a close connection with the Court, and were constantly 
employed in escorting the sovereign, save from 1763 till 1804. Mr. 
Cannon, in his official history of the regiment, considers that it was 
at first relieved from Court duties in order to enable it to recruit and 
rest after the fetigues of the Seven Years' War, and afterwards treated 
as an ordinary cavalry regiment through the influence of the Life 
Guards. It is certain, whatever the cause, that it was so treated. In 
1804 it was brought to Windsor, where it remained till 182 1, when 
for the first time it resumed its former duties in London, and was 
regularly incorporated with the Household Brigade. Even now, 
however, there is a distinction between it and the other two regiments. 
In the Life Guards the major is major and lieutenant-colonel, while 
in the Blues he is only major and brevet lieutenant-colonel. 

George III., from his constant residence at Windsor, had been 
brought much into contact with the Blues, and was for many years in 
the habit of wearing its uniform. Upon his death the suit was pre- 
sented to the corps, and has been carefully preserved by it. There 
was long current in the army a tradition, which many not very old 
soldiers will perhaps call to mind, that the Blues were deprived of 
their gold lace for having run away during the campaign in Flanders 
in 1794. It is needless to say that the report was quite without 
foundation. The facts of the case are as follows : During the 
absence of four troops of the regiment on service their new clothing 
became due. A parade uniform being deemed unsuited for the field, 
a plain one was issued. On their return their colonel, in order to 
add to his emoluments from clothing, established uniformity by 
ordering the gold-laced coats of the home troops to be laid aside, 
and coats of the same pattern as those of the other four to be worn 

The ist ("The King's") Dragoon Guards, styled by soldiers for 
brevity the " K.D.G.'s," was raised in 1685, and given the title of 
" Queen's Regiment of Horse." On the accession of George I. it was 
renamed the " King's Regiment of Horse." In his reign it furnished, in 
turn with other regiments of horse, detachments to assist the Life 
Guards in the performance of London duties. After the suppression 



228 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

of the rebellion of 1745-46, several regiments, and amongst others 
the King's Regiment of Horse, were, for economy's sake, converted 
into dragoons. Those regiments were, however, compensated as 
regards their feelings by being styled Dragoon Guards. In i8io, the 
colonels of the two regiments of Life Guards being employed on the 
staff, the colonel of the ist Dragoon Guards performed the duty of 
Goldstick in waiting, an honour never before or after granted to any 
but the colonel of Household cavalry. 

Of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, or Bays, we are in possession of no 
particular traditions. It was raised in 1685 as a regiment of horse, 
and has always distinguished itself. 

The 3rd Dragoon Guards was raised at the same time. Perhaps 
its most famous achievement was the capture of the standard and 
kettle-drums of the Bavarian Horse Guards at the battle of Ramillies. 
It was, on its being first raised, a regiment of cuirassiers, as were also 
nine other regiments besides the Life Guards. They were originally 
called " Arran's Cuirassiers," their first colonel being the Earl of Arran. 
After the suppression of the rebellion of 1745 the regiment, which 
had been for upwards of three-quarters of a century on the Irish 
establishment, was designated " The First Irish Horse," and, from the 
colour of the facings, frequently spoken of as the " Blue Horse." In 
1764, the regiment being in Dublin, the following curious garrison 
order was issued : — 

Dublin: January ^i^ 1764. 

Lieutenant-General Fowkes recommends to the officers of the garrison that 
they would not play at the Castle whilst on duty ; and that the officers of the 
Horse Guards will avoid mixing with the ladies in the drawing-room, on account 
of the inconvenience of spurs to the ladies* hoop petticoats. 

(Signed) D. Grant, Captain 52nd Regiment, 

for the Major of Brigade. 

In 1 788 the regiment received the appellation of "4th Dragoon Guards." 
The 5th Dragoon Guards, raised in 1685, received the title of " 7th 
Horse," but was more commonly called " Shrewsbury's Cuirassiers." 
At the forcing of the French lines in Flanders by the Duke of 
Marlborough on July 18, 1705, the 7th, or Cadogan's Horse, as they 
were then termed, charged the Bavarian Horse Grenadier Guards, 
drove them from the field, and captured four standards. In 1746 
the title of the regiment was changed to "2nd Irish Horse," but 
from that day to this the regiment has, from the colour of the facings, 
been familiarly known as the "Green Horse." In 1788 it was 
constituted the 5th Dragoon Guards. In 1816 Prince Leopold of 
Saxe-Coburg, afterwards King of the Belgians^ was appointed colonel, 

Regimental Distinctions. 229 

and the regiment received the title of the " Princess Charlotte of 
Wales's Regiment of Dragoon Guards." 

The 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabineers) was raised in 1685 as a 
regiment of cuirassiers; received the title of the " Queen Dowager^s 
Regiment," and ranked as the 9th Horse. At the conclusion of the 
war in Ireland King William rewarded the regiment for its good 
service with the title of " Carabineers." It was sometimes officially 
designated the "King's Carabineers." It took rank, however, as 
the 8th Regiment of Horse from 1790, one of the senior regiments 
having been disbanded. In 1 746 it became the 3rd Irish Horse, 
and in 1788 the 6th Dragoon Guards. This regiment has a brilHant 
record. At Blenheim it overthrew the French gendarmes; at 
Ramillies it vanquished the Spanish Horse Guards and captured the 
colours of the French Royal Regiment of Bombardiers; at Malplaquet 
it beat the Household cavalry of France. Its subsequent services are 
too well known to need mention. There was, however, one curious 
incident in its career. In the attack on Buenos Ayres, under General 
Whitelocke, the Carabineers and the 9th Dragoons were dismounted 
and employed in the assault. They fought well and lost many men 
in this unfortunate affair, which ended, as is known, in the capitu- 
lation of the whole British force. 

The 7th or Princess Royal's Regiment of Dragoon Guards owed 
its origin to the following circumstance : When the Prince of Orange 
landed in England in 1688, the Earl of Devonshire joined him with 
a number of yeomen and gentry. He was rewarded by an order 
to raise, from the partisans of the Prince and the Protestant soldiers 
in James's disbanded regiments, a regiment of cuirassiers, taking rank 
as the loth Horse. In 1720 Colonel Ligonier was appointed colonel 
of the regiment, and for twenty-nine years it was familiarly known as 
" Ligonier's Horse." In 1693 its designation had been changed from 
" loth" to "8th Horse." In 1746 its title was again changed to "4th 
Irish Horse," it being on the Irish establishment; and from its facings 
it was called the " Black Horse." In 1788 it was, with several other 
regiments, reduced to the rank and pay of a dragoon regiment ; but, 
as on previous occasions of a similar reduction, the blow was softened 
by the title " Guards " being appended. In the same year, on the 
apphcation of the colonel, the title of " Princess Royal's Dragoon 
Guards " was granted. This gallant corps has fought in many battles, 
but in none did it obtain more distinction than in the battle of Dettingen. 
Engaged with the Household cavalry of France, Ligonier's Horse were 
at one time surrounded by an enormous mass of the enemy, and had to 
fight desperately for existence and victory. Comet Richardson, 

230 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

carrying one of the standards, was isolated in the throng. Summoned 
to surrender, he sternly refused, and was at. once set upon. by a crowd 
of French horsemen. In the course of a few moments he received 
upwards of thirty sabre-cuts on his body and through lus clothes. 
His standard and standard-staff were also much hacked about The 
very fury and number of his assailants, however, preserved him from 
instant death; and when the French cavalry were at length driven off 
the field, the gallant comet, though faint and covered with blood, still 
held fast his precious charge. Marvellous to relate, he survived his 
numerous wounds. Among the trophies captured by Ligonier's Honie 
were a pair of kettle-drums, which were, presented to them after the 
action, and were in 1839 — perhaps still are — used by the band. For 
the gallantry displayed by the regiment, its intrepid colonel, ! General 
Ligonier, who, though he had received two wounds, refused to quit 
his post, was called to the front by the King and created a knight 
banneret. At Fontenoy the esprit de corps of Ligonier's Horse was 
exemplified in a manner very creditable to all concerned. At the 
beginning of the action. Private Thomas Stevenson's horse being shot 
under him, he did not rejoin his regiment till the evening of the fol- 
lowing day. To use the words of Cannon, in his official record 
of the regiment, " every man was proud of being a Ligonier, and 
when Stevenson joined his troop his comrades accused him of im- 
worthy conduct, and refused to permit him to remain withiri the lines. 
The man demanded a trial, and a court martial was assembled on the 
following day to investigate his conduct, when he produced Lieutenant 
Izard of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who stated that, on the morning 
of the day of action, the prisoner addressed him, acquainted him with 
the death of his (the prisoner's) horse, and requested permission to 
carry a firelock in the grenadier company under him. .The prisoner's 
request was granted ; he behaved throughout the day with uncommon 
intrepidity, and was one of the nine grenadiers whom he (the evi- 
dence) brought out of the action. Stevenson was immediately 
restored to his troop with honour, and was promoted on the following 
day to a lieutenancy in the Fusiliers." 

The 1st or Royal Dragoons and the 2nd (North British) bragopas 
(Scots Greys) are both among the oldest and the most distmguisbei 
of our cavalry regiments. Each has on its appointments an fagle,,in 
commemoration of their exploits at Waterloo. In that great battle 
Captain Clarke of the Royals, and Sergeant Ewart of the Greys, took 
each an eagle after slaying the bearer. The Greys at RamilUes cap-: 
tared the standard of the Regiment du Roi. The Royals were raised 
in 1681, and the Greys in 1678 — that is to say, two troops were raised 

Regimenial Distinctions. 231 

in that year, but the regiments were not regularly formed till 1681. 
Lieutenant-General Dalziel, a stout old soldier who had served in the 
Russian army, was the first colonel of the Greys. He was almost as 
great a terror to the Covenanters as Claverhouse. The regiment was 
first mounted on white horses in 1699. In 1702 they were called 
the " Grey Dragoons " and the " Scots Regiment of White Horses." 
In 1707 they received the title of "Royal Regiment of North British 
Dragoons," and numbered the 2nd Dragoons in 17 13. They were in 
1822 almost purely Scotch. In 1 86 1 there were 322 Scotch, 247 English, 
and 53 Irish. The number of Scotch in the regiment has very much 
fallen off of late, owing to the practice of recruiting extensively in 
London. The Greys are known in the barrack-room by the nickname 
of " Bubbly Jocks," owing to their dress — " bubbly jock" being Scotch 
for a turkey cock. On April 2, 1877, an announcement appeared in 
the " Gazette " that the Greys were in future to be styled the " Royal 
Scots Greys." 

The 3rd Hussars was raised in 1685, and styled the " Queen Con- 
sort's Regiment of Dragoons," converted into " Light Dragoons " in 
1 820, and a few years ago into " Hussars." The regiment, from an early 
period of its history, enjoyed the privilege of kettle-drums — an honour 
which regimental tradition declares was granted in consequence of 
the capture by it of some kettle-drums from the enemy at Aghrim. 
Mr. Cannon, however, the historian of the regiment, believes they were 
taken, not at Aghrim, but at Dettingen. At the latter battle the 3rd 
Dragoons sustained a fierce conflict with nine squadrons of the French 
Household cavalry, cutting through the latter three times. Of the 
three comets carrying standards, two were wounded and the third had 
two horses killed under him. The standards themselves were totally 
destroyed by shot and sabre-cuts. One was very nearly captured. 
The comet, receiving a wound in the wrist, dropped the standard. 
Private Thomas Brown, seeing what had happened, tried to dismount 
to pick it up, but ere he could quit the saddle he lost two fingers by a 
sabre-cut, and his horse ran off with him into the French lines. Re- 
covering control over the animal, he rode back towards his regiment 
\VhiIe doing so he perceived the standard being carried off by. a 
gendarme. This man he attacked and slew, catching the standard 
as it fell from the dying foeman's hand. He then placed the standard 
between his leg and the saddle, and made a dash at tlie enemy, who 
strove to intercept him. He managed to cut his way back, but in 
doing so received seven wounds in the head, face, and body, and his 
hat was pierced by three bullets. 

This regiment was at one time called " Bland's Dragoons," and an 

232 The GmtlemafCs Magazine. 

anecdote is related which strongly illustrates the character of the 
military chaplains of the middle of the last century. The authorities 
thought that by appointing a chaplain to each regiment the religious 
and moral tone of the officers would be improved. It, however, 
was found that, instead of the chaplain improving the officers, 
the latter corrupted him, and we learn that a chaplain of Bland's 
Dragoons challenged, fought, and killed an officer of another regi- 
ment. This and similar incidents led to the abolition of regimental 

The 4th Hussars was raised in 1685, and styled the "Princess of 
Denmark's Regiment of Dragoons;" in 1788 it received the designa- 
tion of the " Queen's Own Regiment of Dragoons." In 18 18 it was 
constituted a corps of light dragoons ; and it was, a few years back, 
converted into hussars. At Steinkirk and some other of its earlier 
actions it was dismounted, and fought on foot with musket and bayo- 
net This regiment was once the cause of a serious political crisis. 
Its colonelcy having become vacant in 17 10, Queen Anne wished to 
confer it on Colonel Hill, brother of her Majesty's favourite Mrs. 
Masham. The Duke of Marlborough objected to Colonel Hill's 
youth and, finding the Queen resolute, withdrew from the Court. So 
great was the political turmoil caused by this act of the Duke, that 
the Queen at length gave way. The regiment wore red coats till 
18 18, when blue coats were substituted. In 1832 it was supplied with 
scarlet clothing, but blue was renewed in 1842. 

The 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers has been so recently raised that it 
has no traditions. 

The 6th (Inniskillings) was formed out of the Protestant yeomen 
of Ulster, and first tasted blood at the Boyne, where they greatly 
distinguished themselves. 

The 7th Hussars was originally a corps of heavy cavalry, formed 
from independent troops raised in Scotland by the partisans of 
William and Mary. Disbanded in 17 14, it was raised again the fol- 
lowing year, and styled the "Princess of Wales's Own Royal Regiment 
of Dragoons." It was chiefly composed of two troops taken from the 
Royal Dragoons and three from the Greys. The memory of its 
Scotch origin is preserved by the practice of playing " The Garb 
of old Ga^ul " when mar<5hing past at a walk, and " Hieland 
Laddie" when trotting past. In 1727 it received the title of the 
"Queen's Own Regiment of Dragoons." In 1783, being converted 
into light dragoons,^ ijlue clothing was adopted. In 1807 it was con- 
verted into a corps ot" hussars, and received the title of the " 7th 
or Queen's Own R^imC^t of Hussars." In 1830 scarlet were sub- 

Regimmial Distinctions. 233 

stituted for blue pelisses; the latter were, however, restored 
in 1842. 

The 8th (Royal Irish) Hussars was raised in Ireland in 1693, and 
was at first known as " Cunningham's Dragoons." The regiment was 
disbanded in 17 14, but raised again in the following year and restored 
to its former rank in the army. It was then known as " Pepper's 
Dragoons." In 1775 it was constituted a corps of light dragoons, and 
two years later was styled the " King's Royal Irish Regiment of Light 
Dragoons." It was converted into hussars in 1824. During the War 
of Succession it overthrew and annihilated a corps of Spanish 
cavalry. The men equipped themselves with the cross-belts of their 
adversaries, and for many years afterwards were allowed, in com- 
memoration of the event, to wear their sword-belts over their right 
shoulder, the same as regiments of horse, instead of round the waist, 
like dragoons. In 181 2, at the siege of the fortress of Callinger, a 
squadron of the 8th, contrary to the usual practice of cavalry, furnished 
working parties. In the attack on the Goorkha fortress of Kalunga 
in 1 8 14, a portion of the 8th w^e dismounted and took part in the 
assault. There is a tradition in the regiment that the dragoons were 
employed on this service to shame the backwardness of some of the 

The 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers was raised in the south of Eng- 
land in 1 7 15 by Major-General Wynne, who gave his name to the 
corps. In 1783 the regiment was converted from dragoons into light 
dragoons, and in the following year the clothing was changed fi"om 
scarlet to blue. In 18 16 it became a corps of lancers. The loth 
Hussars has for nearly a century been one of the crack corps ot 
the service. It was raised in 17 15 as a regiment of dragoons, consti- 
tuted a regiment of light dragoons with the title of "Prince of Wales's 
Own Light Dragoons" in 1783, and converted into hussars. In 1793 
the Prince of Wales was appointed commandant. Owing to this 
circumstance the corps was frequently quartered at Brighton, Houns- 
low, and other good stations, and there was great competition for 
commissions in the regiment. Among the officers who, at the close 
of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centiuies, held 
commissions in it, we may mention the Due de Grammont, whose son 
now commands the camp at Chalons, and the notorious Beau 
Brummell. As may be imagined, the latter took little trouble to 
learn his duties, and it is related that he only knew his troop by a 
blue-nosed man on the right of it. One day this man was trans- 
ferred to another troop, and Brummell, being consequently misled, 
took up a wrong position. Shouted at by the colonel to correct his 

234 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

mistake^ he looked round, saw the blue-nosed man in his usual relative 
position, and nodded his head as much as to say, " I knew I was right" 
He did not long remain in the corps. A story is told that the dandy 
officers of the loth were too great exquisites to dance. One evening 
they went to a ball, and, lounging listlessly about as usual, were asked 
by the lady of the house to find partners. She was, however, rebuffed 
with "Thanks; the loth never dance," drawled out in the most 
listless way imaginable. She made no remark at the time, but when 
supper was announced addressed the dandies as follows : " The loth 
never sup. Good evening, gentlemen." 

These dandies, however, fought splendidly, and were bo covetous 
of glory as to be enraged by not being allowed on a certain occasion 
to charge the enemy — ^at Orthes, we think. They sent a round robin 
to Colonel St. Quentin, their commanding officer, reproaching him 
for his backwardness. A court of inquiry was held. The colonel's 
reputation was cleared, and the officers dispersed among different 
regiments. Their places being supplied by officers fi-om various 
corps, the loth received the name of the " Elegant Extracts." 

The nth Hussars was raised as a corps of dragoons in 1715 ; in 
1783 converted into light dragoons ; in 1840 honoured by the 
appointment of the late Prince Consort as their colonel, on which 
occasion they were transformed into hussars, and received the title 
of " Prince Albert's Own Hussars.** Their uniform — originally scarlet 
— ^was changed to blue in 1784, changed back to scarlet in 1830, 
and again changed to blue in 1840. The notorious Lord Cardigan 
was for some time lieutenant-colonel of this regiment, and made 
himself obnoxious to his officers by his overbearing demeanoiu:. 
On one occasion he reprimanded Captain Reynolds for causing hock 
to be poured out of a black bottle, and that officer was ever after 
known as "Black-bottle Reynolds." The services of the nth in 
Egypt are commemorated by the Sphinx and "Egypt" on the 
appointments. This regiment is known as the "Cherry-pickers," 
firom the colour of their trousers. 

The 1 2th (the Prince of Wales's Royal) Lancers was raised at 
Reading in 17 15 as a regiment of dragoons. In 1768 it was styled 
the " Prince of Wales's Regiment," and converted into light dragoons. 
In 1784 its uniform was changed from scarlet to blue ; in 181 5 it 
was constituted a corps of lancers, and in 18 17 received the title of 
"Prince of Wales's Own Lancers;" in 1830 it resumed scarlet cloth- 
ing, which in 1842 was again changed to blue; in 1794, part of the 
regiment being at Civita Vecchia, the Pope presented each of the 
officers with a gold medal to commemorate his opinion of the good 

Regimental Distinctions. ^^5 

conduct of the corps. Landing in Egypt in 1801, .250 men of thjp 
1 2th and 26th Light Dragoons forced a French convoy, escbrted by 
598 officers and men — 120 belonging to the Dromedary Corps— to 
surrender. Among the trophies captured were one gun and a standard. 
This is the only regiment besides the nth Hussars which bears the 
Sphinx and " Egypt " on its appointments. 

The 13th Hussars, raised in the midland counties as a regiment 
of dragoons, were constituted light dragoons in 1784, when theii: 
clothing was changed from scarlet to blue, with light green facings; 
resumed scarlet clothing with buff facings in 1832 ; received green 
facings in 1836 ; resumed blue clothing with buflf facings, and were 
converted into hussars a few years ago. In the Peninsula the 13th 
and 14th Light Dragoons were nicknamed the " Ragged Brigade," from 
the rough usage which their clothes had undergone. The great friend- 
ship which had subsisted during the Peninsular war between these two 
regiments was cemented afresh when they met in 1841 at Canterbury. 
The 14th were about to embark for India, and presented their valuable 
mess-tables to their old comrades. Distinguished as have been thie 
services of the 13th Hussars, their fame was somewhat clouded ty 
the behaviour of the regiment in 1745 at Preston Pans, where they 
precipitately fled the field. A few gallant men and officers, however, 
stood by their brave commander, Colonel Gardiner, and were almost 
all killed, wounded, or captured. The 13th redeemed their character 
at Falkirk in the following year, covering the retreat of the infantry 
with great steadiness. The old seal used by the regiment when a 
regiment of heavy dragoons is still preserved. 

The 14th Hussars, raised as a regiment of dragoons in 17 15, was 
in 1776 converted into light dragoons, and in 1784 its uniform was 
changed from scarlet to dark blue. In 1798 it received the designa- 
tion of the " Duchess of York's Own Light Dragoons ; " and, as her 
Royal Highness was a Princess of Prussia, the badge of the Prussian 
eagle was granted. At the same time its facings were changed from 
lemon yellow to orange. In 1830 it was authorised to bear the title 
of the " King's Light Dragoons," and the facings were changed from 
orange to scarlet. In 1832 the King's crest was added to its appoint- 
ments. Like the 13th, it behaved ill at Preston Pans, and had the 
further ill-luck a little more than a century later to incur much ob- 
loquy for its conduct at ChilUanwallah. This obloquy was not, 
however, merited. The 14th was advancing to charge the enemy, 
when some one shouted " Threes, about! " Thinking this an order, the 
regiment retired, and the fire being heavy a panic set in, and the 14th 
dashed in the utmost confusion to the rear, passing through a battqy 

2^6 The Gentlemafis Magazine. 

of artillery and a field hospital in their mad rush. With these two 
exceptions the 14th has ever been an honour to the British army, 
especially at Villa del Puerco in 18 10, when they charged a French 
square so home that Lieutenant-Colonel Talbot and eight men fell 
dead close to the bayonets — the former, indeed, on their very points. 
The 15 th (the King's) Hussars owed its origin to the following 
circumstances : In 1755 George II., appreciating the value of light 
cavalry, ordered a light troop to be added to nine regiments of dra- 
goons and horse. These nine troops were united under the command 
of Colonel George Eliot, afterwards celebrated for his defence of 
Gibraltar. These proved themselves so useful in the expeditions to 
the coast of France, that several entire regiments of light dragoons 
were raised. The first of these was the 15th, of which Colonel George 
Eliot was appointed colonel in 1759. It served in Germany during 
the Seven Years' War, and several anecdotes of its exploits have been 
preserved in the regiment. Quoting from Cannon's record : " On one 
occasion, after a repulse and a march of seventy miles in twenty-four 
hours, when scarcely a horse was able to walk, Major Erskine saw a 
regiment of French infantry formed with a morass in its rear ; and 
advancing he called upon the commanding officer to surrender, to 
prevent his men from being cut to pieces by a large body of cavalry 
that was approaching. This being refused, the major said : * Your 
blood must be upon your heads,' and turned roimd to go back 
to the regiment ; the French called upon him to stay, and laying 
down their arms surrendered themselves prisoners of war." On 
every occasion, indeed, " Eliot's Light Horse" distinguished them- 
selves ; and when, in 1766, the King asked General Eliot how he 
could recompense the regiment for its gallantry in war and good con- 
duct in peace, the general begged that it might be called the " King's 
Regiment" The request was granted. In 1784 the clothing was 
changed from scarlet to blue, and the facings from blue to scarlet 
In 1806 it was converted into a hussar regiment. The most dashing 
feat performed during the campaign in Flanders in 1794 was the 
action of Villiers-en-Couche. The French had intercepted the Em- 
peror of Germany on his way from Brussels to join the army. A 
force of cavalry, of which the van was composed of 186 officers and 
men of the 15th and 120 of the Leopold Hussars (Austrian), was 
sent out to drive off the French. The latter were found in force near 
Villiers-en-Couche. The supports missed their way, and General 
Otto, notwithstanding that he had only 306 men opposed to 10,000 
of the enemy, determined to attack at all hazards in order to save the 
Emperor. The isth were ordered to attack in front, and the Leopold 

Regimental Distinctions. 237 

Hussars to turn the left flank. A strong body of skirmishers attempted 
in vain- to check the advance. Onward swept our men. The French 
cavalry now wheeled outward and broke, unmasking a line of infantry 
and guns. Unappalled, the isth dashed at the line and rode through 
it. They then sprang at a large square composed of six battalions 
and dispersed it The French cavalry, who had tried to rally in rear 
of their infantry, saw the 15 th swooping down on them and fled in 
wild confusion. The Leopold Hussars also nobly performed their 
part, and the foe was pursued till the guns from Bouchain and the 
appearance of a force from that city caused the victors first to halt 
and then retire. On their return they were intercepted by some 
rallied French infantry, but these were again ridden through, not- 
withstanding a heavy fire of musketry and cannon ; and, the supports 
having arrived, the audacious band got clear off. The result of the 
fight was 1,200 of the enemy killed and wounded, and three 
guns captured, and the safety of the Emperor. The 15th lost, out of 
1 86 men engaged, 17 men and 19 horses killed, i ofliicer bayoneted 
through the body, 12 men and 18 horses wounded. Of the eight 
officers present one was wounded and five had horses wounded under 
them. For this exploit all the eight officers, among whom was Sir 
Robert Wilson, received from the Emperor a gold medal, and after- 
wards were created Knights of the Order of Maria Theresa. The 
words " Villiers-en-Couche " are borne on the appointments of this 

The 1 6th (the Queen's) Lancers was raised as a regiment of light 
dragoons in 1759 by Lieutenant- Colonel John Burgoyne, well known 
as a politician and dramatist, but still better on account of the sur- 
render of Saratoga. In 1766 it received the designation of the 
"Queen's Light Dragoons." In 1784 its uniform was changed from 
scarlet to blue. It was constituted a regiment of lancers in 1815, 
and in 1832 resumed its scarlet clothing. It has served with dis- 
tinction all over the world, but its most famous achievement was 
breaking a Sikh square at Aliwal. Another incident of which it is 
justified in feeling proud was an exploit in the Peninsula. When 
Massena fell back from the lines of Torres Vedras, Sergeant Baxter, 
with six men of the i6th, headed the advanced guard of the British. 
Suddenly he came on a party of fifty French infantry cooking. The 
latter instantly seized their arms, but, regardless of odds, Baxter 
charged them, and, with the assistance of some peasants, made pri- 
soners one officer and forty-one men, the only casualty on his side 
being one man killed. 

The 17th (the Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers were raised in 

238 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

]{3fertfordshire as a regiment of light dragoons in 1759 by Lieutenant- 
Colonel John Hole. This officer had served with Wolfe, and, anxious 
tiat his men should imitate the glorious example of that hero, he 
obtained for his regiment a grant of the death's-head — a skull and 
cross-bones — and "or glory" to be borne on the appointments. 
Hence the 17th to this day speak of themselves, and are called by 
ojihers, the "Death or Glory Boys," and the "Skull and Cross- 
bones." Their clothing was changed from scarlet to blue in 1784, 
aiid in 1822 they were transformed into lancers. The title of " Duke 
of Cambridge's Own " was granted last year to commemorate the fact 
that his Royal Highness, in the early part of his career, commanded 
this regiment. A most heroic act was performed by a trooper of the 
17th during the American War of Independence. A despatch of 
great importance was sent oflf through a country infested by the 
enemy. The bearer of the despatch was accompanied by Corporal 
O'Lavery of the 17 th, who, from his known courage and experience, 
had been selected for the duty. Attacked before they had proceeded 
far, they were both severely woimded. The bearer of the despatch 
died in a few minutes ; but the corporal snatched the despatch from 
his hands, and, notwithstanding his own serious injuries, rode on till, 
from loss of blood, he fell from the saddle. Fearing that he might 
fall into the hands of the enemy, he concealed the document by 
thrusting it into his wound. The next day he was found by some of his 
own side. He could not speak, but pointed to his wound, in which, 
on search being made, the paper was found. The corporal died 
shortly after, the surgeon declaring that his injury had not been ori- 
ginally mortal, but had been made so by the insertion of the despatch. 
Lord Rawdon, commanding the portion of the army to which 
O'Lavery belonged, commemorated the classical heroism of the cor- 
poral by a monument erected in the brave soldier's native county — 
Down. The 8th Hussars and 17th Lancers served much together 
and are great friends. They call themselves " the twenty-fives." 

The 1 8th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Hussars have not yet had an op- 
portunity of acquiring any fame, for though the 19th has received 
permission to inscribe " Assaye and Niagara," and the 20th " Penin- 
sula," on their appointments, those honours were won by regiments 
with whom they have as only connection an identity of number. The 
19th, 20th, and 2ist were raised during the Indian Mutiny, and at first 
were composed of men so short that they could barely groom their 
horses. For this reason they obtained in the army the nickname of 
the " Dumpies." Now in size, appearance, apd efficiency they vie 
with any of the older regiments. w. w. knollys. 




SEVERAL of our rivers have had their histories written. Who 
has not read with delight the "Book of the Thames," by 
Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall? Dean Howson and others have 
lovingly recorded many of the quaint and noble stories that ren- 
dered " holy Dee " a renowned river from remotest ages, dating back, 
as the enthusiastic Welsh genealogists would have us believe, to the 
great Noachian Deluge. The Derwent of Cumberland, the Usk and 
Wye of Wales, and the Exe of Devonshire have each found his- 
torians in the last few years. But, so far as I am aware, no one has 
ever written a memoir of the Tyne beyond the dry statistics and 
history of her trade and manufactures, which, in company with those 
of Wear and Tees, appeared in a noble volimie a few years ago. Yet 
I venture to say that no river in England is more worthy of a careful 
descriptive and historic treatment. I am not, of course, in these 
pages attempting a history of this glorious Northumbrian stream, but 
merely throwing together a few rough sketches to show what might 
be done were the subject fully followed up. 

Only a few weeks ago, when remarking to a learned friend the fact 
that each of our rivers, large and small, has some special individual 
characteristic, making it stand out in some one or other matter 
strikingly prominent from all its fellows, my friend laughed at me, 
calling me a river enthusiast, and saying: " No doubt, no doubt. We all 
know, for example, how coaly the Tyne is. Everyone will agree with 
you that there is no need to bring coals to Newcastle ; that river, at 
any rate, has a characteristic of its own — the filthiest, smokiest, most 
disagreeable river, not only in England, but in the universe, I verily 
believe it is. Why, the very vapour that rises from it blasts the trees 
along its banks ; and the grass, I am told, is withered and dead upon 
its sides for more than half its course. I speak from some experience. 
I was there early last spring, and I cannot conceive a drearier sight 
than the country about Newcastle, except the town itself and its 
filthy sewer of a river." As if relenting a little, he added : " The 
trade and manufactures of the Tjme are grand in their way, no doubt; 
but the smoke and dirt hang such a perpetual pall of depression 

240 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

over everything else that might appeal to the tastes of the non-trading 
part of the community^ that I imagine no amoimt of enthusiasm could 
evoke interest out of such a subject." 

Now, I have not transcribed one half of the unjust tirade uttered 
against this noblest of salmon rivers, which my friend chose to desig- 
nate as a filthy sewer ! I admit I am a river enthusiast, as he called 
me ; and would there were a few more of the fraternity, who, if banded 
together, might cause some practical movement to issue from that 
mass of evidence on the pollution question, now reposing lifelessly in 
many expensively compiled parliamentary blue-books. Armed with 
the facts recorded in those books, and with a little enthusiasm where- 
with to burnish the weapons and make keen their edges, what a 
crusade might be started against the prevalent sordid self-interest, 
ignorance, and neglect which now combine to cast intolerable biuxlens 
upon our rivers, only too often converting large portions of them into 
a deplorable condition, fouling their bright, life-giving waters until 
they become turbid, pestilent streams, unlovely to look upon and 
deadly to drink I Although the Tyne to this day, as I shall show, 
holds its own without the help of the much-needed crusade, better 
perhaps than any other river in the land, I know full well that the 
views of my learned friend already quoted would be re-echoed by 
innumerable hasty visitors or railway passengers through Newcastle, 
who carry away with them a confused idea of a water-way wholly 
absorbed by its modem trade, and unpleasantly enveloped in noise 
and smoke. It is not many years since the present Inspectors of 
Salmon Fisheries advised that the two upper branches of the Tyne, 
because of the pollutions existing therein, should be blocked against 
the ascent of salmon. Happily the advice was disregarded ; but its 
having been given will show how not only hasty visitors, but even 
those whose business it was closely to examine into the condition of the 
river, were led, after making their inspection, to conclude that those 
upper waters had become unfit for the habitation of fish. Fifty, nay 
a hundred times and more, has it been reiterated to me : "A dirty, 
uninteresting river is the Tyne." In fact, the Tyne somehow seems 
to have got a bad name for all save its coal mines and its trade. 
Of course Tynesiders know the truth about their river. I do not 
write for them, but for those who know nothing at all about it, beyond 
a vague idea as to its whereabouts on the map of England and its 
wealthy trade productions. 

Cradled in a district bounteously rich in geological formations, 
the Tyne is composed of two great branches and innumerable atten- 
dant rivulets and tributaries. The two branches rise about forty miles 

The River Tyne* 241 

apart from each other, and unite above Hexham. The southernmost, 
called South Tyne, has the place of honour, its topmost stream being 
considered the source or head of the river. It rises in Cumberland, 
among the fierce, tempestuous mountain heights of Cross Fell, 
" Throne of the stormy winds," as the wild legend-haunted mountain 
has well been styled. The northern branch is called the North 
Tyne. Many of its tiny streamlets stretch up through high moorlands, 
across the bog-buried pine forests of a now almost treeless region, to 
the very confines of Scotland, whence they draw their abundant water 
supply from the dense mists and heavy rain-clouds constantly passing 
along from the north to descend in torrents over the Cheviot Hills. 
Far down on the main stream, below where the two head branches 
unite, another considerable tributary-feeder, the Derwent, comes in 
from southward, carrying no small amount of water from Durham. 
One half of the main stream, from Ryton to the sea, belongs, 
according to riparian rules, to Durham; the Tyne here, as the 
Derwent, for most of its course, forming the boundary-line between 
the two counties 3 but the major part of the waters lie in Northumber- 
land. The Tyne is essentially a Northumbrian river. Its length, 
fi-om Tyne head to the sea, is sixty-eight miles ; if, however, .the 
principal tributaries. North Tyne, Reed, the two Aliens, east and 
west, Devilswater, and Derwent are included, we find a watercourse 
measuring in all some 200 miles. 

The industries and trade of the river are, no doubt, her most 
prominent features in the present day. Birthplace of the locomotive 
engine, " coaly Tyne " has, indeed, vast possessions, from source to 
sea, in the laborious restlessness of mining operations, coal exporta- 
tions, iron foundries, world-famed gun factories, pottery works, 
chemical works, and great ship-building yards. A most industrious 
river, as all will allow, it assuredly is ; but, notwithstanding the ill 
things said of it, and the extraordinary hardships given it to bear on 
certain spots, the glory of the stream consists in this : unlike its com- 
peers in labour, the Tyne has not yet been, or ever, I trust, shall be, 
transformed into a mere machine-moving motive power, a burden- 
bearer of commodities, or a filthy sewer. This is the most distinctive 
quality of the river as regards its modem history, with all its 
carrying of ships, steamboats, and barges, its factories and forges, its 
mill-dams, its underground water-ways, its stream ceaselessly busy at 
lead mining, coal mining, turning of mill-wheels, printing of news- 
papers, and I know not what other wonderful works its great 
hydraulic engineers may have set it to do. Working from its very head 

streams up among the mountains, down to where it flows into the 
VOL. ccxu. NO. 1760. R 

242 The Gentkmatis Magazine. 

sea, it performs innumerable labours, yet, with them all, the Tyne still 
maintains its natural vitality. Its waters are alive with prime salmon 
to an extent that none other of our waters can boast in the present 
day, yet such as they all held in ancient days. The Mersey, the 
Medway, the Thames, each famed of old for an annual, ever-recurring 
good store of salmon, no longer possess a single specimen. The com- 
mon brown trout they may have in some more favoured spots, or chub, 
dace, roach, barbel, perch, or those less fastidious fishes which, unlike 
the lordly salmon, content themselves with artificially sluggish and 
much fouled streams ; but anglers, who would care little to sport 
among such small fry, know Tyne river well. Rod in hand, they who 
have traversed it throughout its breezy moorlands and meadows, and 
along its branching tributaries, and have tested for themselves its 
sporting qualities, know what bright sparkling waters, what grand 
unsullied deeps, what glorious rapids, in fine, what a fit habitat for 
countless thousands of trout and salmon, it continues to be, notwith- 
standing the death-stricken, blackened patches unhappily to be found 
in some parts, and the tons of poisonous stuffs so ruthlessly cast in 
at several points ; and that uninviting-looking, turbid steamer-and- 
barge-laden stream the fish have to make their way through, as it 
rushes sullenly by the mighty cinder-heaps, quays, and smoke- 
begrimed walls of Newcastle. Nor is this fact regarding piscatory 
possessions only to be learned from the lips of enthusiastic anglers. 
Even more definitely it may be read in the pages of grave official 
records, from the statistics of which we gather that the Tyne yields 
every year from her bountiful bosom a larger amount of salmon for 
the food supply of the nation than any two other of our English 
rivers put together. It is vastly the most productive salmon-farm in 
England. It is well worth while to cull a little from blue-books to 
elucidate this. In the official reports published annually by the 
Home Office, the Severn, in fish productiveness, stands next to the 
Tyne. Moreover, when comparing them, it must be remembered that 
the Severn is four times the larger of the two rivers. The catchment 
basin of the Severn extends over an area of 4,437 square miles, 
while the catchment basin of the Tyne has an extent of but 1,053 
square miles. This, of course, makes the contrast the more striking. 
The mighty Severn yielded in the last five recorded years, i.e. firom 
187 1 to 1875 inclusive, 65,012 salmon, while during the same period 
the comparatively diminutive Tyne yielded no fewer than 382,528 
fish. This is something to boast of in these days of river degeneracy. 
I should like well to dilate a little upon the reasons why we find this fish 
vitality in the Tyne, but space forbids to do more than give the facts. 

The River Tyne. 243 

Having been so often authoritatively told, until at length it became 
generally adopted as a truism, that the greater the strides made by 
arts and sciences in developing river-side industries, the more com- 
pletely must we expect to see the natural life of the rivers succumb 
and salmon disappear from English waters, it is reassuring to find the 
actual facts in this case, at the present moment, so emphatically denying 
the dismal proposition. Amid all the smoke, the noise, the toil, the 
ceaseless sweat of brow and brain, the countless evidences of that 
painfully elaborated and most refined inventive energy, the mar- 
vellously dexterous application of water as a motive power, and all 
the other vast mechanical problems thought out for the benefit of the 
whole world, and first carried into practice in those great workshops 
which have made the river famous in all lands, surrounded in fine by 
the most scientific artificial appliances of modem river industries in 
full operation, and knowing that, added to the works already alluded 
to, one half of all the chemical products (generally considered the 
most deadly of manufactures to fish) of the entire kingdom are manu- 
factured on the Tyne, the exuberant salmon life of the river is a 
strikingly pleasing feature to contemplate. It brings before us, not 
in a theoretic but in a most practical form, the possibility of salmon 
living and thriving abundantly as they do here, along with the most 
enormous wealth-producing river industries to be found anywhere. 
So much for those two important commercial aspects of the stream. 

But has the Tyne no scenic attractions or stirring historic associa- 
tions of her own ? The visitor to Newcastle might, perhaps, think the 
river has not much to boast in the way of scenery ; the smoke hangs 
heavy at times over the town, making the surroundings, for those in 
search of nature's loveliness, dismal enough, I grant. Travellers, how- 
ever, who cross the country by rail to Carlisle can tell another story ; 
they catch gUmpses of many bright and even grandly beautiful scenes. 
But the Tyne deserves a closer acquaintance than can be made from 
the window of a railway- carriage. Get out, my friend, and walk those 
storied banks ; make up your mind to spend a few weeks in these 
parts, and I warrant you will speedily agree with me that England 
possesses no river more worthy of admiration and loving study ; no 
river that can better repay a careful exploration into its varied attrac- 
tions, whether into its scenic beauties or into its rare sporting qualities — 
whether into the marvellous mazes of its busy works of to-day, or into 
the relics of its strange past history, or into the pursuits and characters 
of the industrious, mining, manufacturing, agricultiural labourers, keel- 
men, sailors, and fishing folks. A rough, brave, hard-working race of 

men, with tender homely touches in their natures, who seem to have 

R 2 

244 '^^ GmtUmatis Magazine. 

caught a sort of individuality of their own from the river upon whose 
banks their hardy, manful lives are lived. Along Tyneside, and up her 
tributaries, with the bright sun and free air of heaven blowing about you 
— the only living sounds the drowsy humming of the bees, the twitter of 
small birds within the bushes, the cawing of the rooks among the trees, 
the distant barking of some cottage watch-dog, or the far-away voice of 
the husbandman as he talks to his horses, cheering them on to their 
work, and, added to all, the rippling music of the river flowing swiftly 
and clear by your side ; the rising trout dimpling it over with tiny 
wavelets, the occasional splash of Uie lordly salmon telling you he is 
there, although it may be you have not permission to make nearer 
acquaintance with him — still to see him is a pleasure, and in his pre- 
sence, if you care to do so, you may easily forget all the rough usage the 
splendid waters daily undergo. Look around \ no vestige of smoke 
or turmoil is in view. Backed by the blue outline of lofty mountains, 
the pictures now before you are replete with the calm of peaceful plenty 
and gentle rural beauty ; while strangely mingling with the English 
landscape come memories of Imperial Rome, as you encounter 
upon uplands and among the fields, or close on the river-side, 
the constantly recurring, half-unearthed traces of buried towns, and 
ga2e with a sort of indefinable wonder upon the remnants of the 
great old Roman wall which traverses the whole length of the river. 
Tyne watershed is filled with Roman memories. Here, where you are 
standing, the wise and resolute Agricola may have ridden by often, to 
encounter the wild hordes of the North or to oversee the erection of 
the earliest Roman fortresses, some of which may still be traced ; or 
the noble presence of the Emperor Hadrian probably stood upon this 
spot, as, with the practised eye of a great builder, he scanned the plans 
and issued minute directions for the construction of that very wall you 
are looking at ; or, some three generations later, borne on his litter, the 
restless, ambitious, dying Severus,with his bad son Caracalla, must have 
passed back down this very road, from that terrible Caledonian cam- 
paign wherein perished so many thousands of the flower of the Roman 
army. The usurping Carausius, the amiable half-Christian Constan- 
tius, and even the great Constantine himself, in their visits to Tyneside, 
may here have received the plaudits of assembled Roman multitudes. 
Roman towns and Roman people, for upwards of 300 years, thronged 
these scenes, filling the broad valley with restless, foreign military life, 
while from hundreds of Roman altars went up the daily smoke ot 
sacrifices, and libations were poured out before the innumerable gods 
of the Roman Pantheon. But now ,all have passed away, and in 
their place, among the buried towns and broken altars, over meadows 

The River Tyne. 245 

and distant rising grounds, cattle and 'sheep are grazing, and bright 
com fields and ploughed lands lie interspersed with noble man- 
sions, wooded parks, villages, quiet little country churches, and 
cottage homesteads, each in its circlet of trees. And rich and 
veiy comfortable to English eyes is all the spreading landscape, 
stretching for miles and miles on either side along Tyne river; 
while ever and anon, as you wander up the streams, you will come 
upon such shady lanes, such rustic gateways, such stiles and vil- 
lage pathways, such quaint bits of the old wall and tangled, fem- 
decked hedgerows, draw-wells and pumps, and river-side vignettes, 
as seem each of them in their fair freshness to be the very counter- 
parts from which the Bewick brothers, more than half-a-centuiy ago, 
drew those inimitable woodcuts we are all familiar with, and which 
were every one designed from Tyneside models. These are the sur- 
roundings through which you push along the Tyne's lowland valleys. 
It is not easy to connect such scenes with the restless throbbing of 
the hydraulic engines, the plutonic roar of the furnace fires, the black, 
grimy working of the coal mines, the noxious vapours and poison- 
laden outflow of the alkali works, and the ever-brooding clouds of 
overhanging smoke, as part and parcel of the same river. Yet so 
they are. Tyne revels in the admirable blending together of such 
violent contrasts, and, carrying within her much-enduring waters her 
noble salmon fisheries, she lives the two lives wondrous well. 

To know the river in all its aspects you must follow the streams 
up to their first beginnings, exchanging the milder softness of the 
lowlands for the wild and rugged hills, where you may wander for 
days over solitary moorlands. And bleak enough, and mist-laden 
often, you will find them, bogs and streams commingling, until, having 
reached the northern boundary of the Tyne, " as heaven's water falls," 
the trickling drops of the passing shower, descending on either side 
of you, proclaim as they run to the left hand that they are bound to 
the Tweed and Edinburgh, while those to the right pass down through 
Tyne to Newcastle. You are, in fact, upon " the great divide," as 
Americans would call it, where the water-partings form the boundary 
line between Scotland and England. Rife around this tract live tales 
of daring Scottish raids and Border warfare, full of vivid interest 
and incident, had we the time to linger among them. But up here, 
on this northern branch, you are as far from "the source of 
Tyne," as you are from its final outflow into the sea below Newcastle. 
Tyne head, as the crow flies, lies some forty miles south of those 
northern border streams ; you can get from here by rail to Alston 
for Tyne head j but much more interesting and satisfactory for him 

246 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

who has the time and energy to expend on pedestrian excursions is it 
to loiter along those upper waters, make acquaintance with the people, 
hear their Border stories, visit their villages, and explore the innumer- 
able ancient remains, British and Roman, that abound on every side. 
Lucky man if you have a permit to fish in the waters of these parts, 
for then you will have good chance of some first-rate sport From 
the banks of Reed water you can pay your respects to the Scotch 
and English battle-field of Otterboume close by, and see the renmants 
of several noted Roman stations. The most interesting Roman remains 
we have lie in the region of those upper waters. Pissing down, take 
leave of the lovely North Tyne, cross the moorland hills to the calm 
Northumberland lakes, and examine the most marvellous stretch now 
existing of the Roman wall ; follow its course to Thirwall Castle, on 
the rattling little Tipalt brook, and join South Tyne, of which Tipalt 
is a tributary, and the lakes' feeders at Haltwhistle, from whence you 
may arrange many more days of exciting explorations among the 
green-fringed highland valleys, the rich woods of Featherstone, the 
mining districts, and at last the ascent of the mountain, where, upon the 
giant sides of Cross Fell, the river takes its lofty and fitting beginning. 
What a panorama it is to look down upon from the heights of 
Cross Fell ! — a sea of mountains and moorlands, far as the eye can 
reach, and below them the broad green valley. You cannot see Tyne 
water very | distinctly, for many miles a haze fills the valley, but you 
know that beneath that haze lie some of all the endless variety that 
goes to make up the matchless charm of English river scenery ; a 
charm that appeals not alone to the outward eye, but clings around 
those many landmarks, with memories of stirring events in Eng- 
land's past history. Within the smoky towns, and among the 
smiling fields, as we came up, were there not ruined castles, and ivy- 
covered towers, empty monasteries and temples, each with historic 
associations of its own, mingling with the remains of Roman towns, 
and that grand old Roman wall for a background, standing, parts of 
it, bravely in defiance of all those centuries that have beaten upon it 
since Hadrian's legions raised it to protect Roman Britain from the 
Caledonian foe? Up here, at the river's topmost source, on the 
rugged sides of Cross Fell, and gazing down upon its winding course 
to where we know, flanked on either side by rocky promontories, 
once surmounted by altars to the great god Jupiter, it loses itself in 
the sea ; that lengthened Roman occupation presses most strongly 
upon your imagination, until you almost seem to see the phantom 
ghosts of the gallant warriors, clothed again in living flesh and blood, 
pass and repass about their daily vocations. Those magnificent 

The River Tyne. 247 

world-conquerors, with their wives and children, and household gods, 
settled down along Tyne river in thousands and thousands, as they 
settled down along no other river in England. Here, clustering around 
the wall stations and garrison towns, they built themselves villas, and 
made themselves homes, approximating as much as might be to 
Roman homes, during some three or four centuries, much as our 
officers, soldiers, and civilians now settle themselves over India, 
taking with them or drawing around them European comforts and 
civilisation, and dispersing, it is to be hoped, a wholesome leaven 
among the natives of that great Eastern land, as undoubtedly the 
ancient Roman occupation dispersed a most wholesome leaven 
throughout our Western island. India, without the English, would 
be strange to our thoughts — almost impossible for us to conceive 
just now — and yet only about 120 years have passed by since the 
victories of Clive gave the English a footing in India at all approach- 
ing that which the Romans held in Britain for upwards of 300 years, 
jfrom the victorious campaigns of Agricola towards the close of the 
first century until early in the fifth century, when the legions moved 
out of the land for ever, their last words to the Britons being the 
farewell advice that they should maintain valiantly, as a defence 
against the dreaded Caledonians, that mighty wall before us in the far 
distance, that then stood some eighteen feet high, with its watch-towers 
and castles at stated intervals, crossing the country from sea to sea 
along the northern waters of Tyne and the Eden rivers. Looking down 
from the mountain, Whitley Castle — the Alionis of the Romans — lies 
at our feet. Here, close to the source of Tyne, the imperial legions 
fixed themselves in force, and, gathering their womankind around 
them, raised ramparts to defend this passage upon the Maiden Way — 
a road, as all the Roman roads were, finely chosen and skilfully 
planned, a connecting link between the midland counties and the 
North. The same road is still used by the miners, and considered 
the best — indeed, the only safe road — for the conveyance of heavy 
loads across the boggy turf of these parts. And as you walk along 
this venerable Maiden Way you may see culverts for carrying off the 
surface water, carefully formed of stone, lying in situ just as the 
imperial legionaries placed them, and acting still as they have acted 
for sixteen or seventeen centuries. And below you, right opposite the 
spot where you are standing, was the midden heap of the station — the 
accumulated offal and sweepings of some 200 or 300 years. There 
it has lain for ages untouched by the hand of man, until a few years 
ago it tiuned up at last, a most practically valuable " find " for the 
farmer, who has had it gradually carted off and spread over his fields. 

248 ' The Gentleman's Magazine. 

to the great enrichment of his crops. He will tell you that no 
gathering out of modem stable-yards can compare in quality with 
this mellow, fertilising stuflf, and I have been told the fields dressed 
with it exceed in luxuriance all the other fields in the neighbourhood. 
For myself I can assure you that to stand by at the disturbance of one 
of those old Roman midden heaps — and many of them have been 
broken up in modem days along the Tyne — and to see the workman's 
shovel toss aside out of the dark, rich mould bits of broken pottery, 
leather sandals, wom-out shoes, and various dkbris and signs of the daily 
household life of those grand old heroes, is an experience not easily 
to be forgotten, taking you back at once as it does to their social 
surroundings, and recalling vividly the petty household cares, the 
long monotony of life so many of them must have lived wearily 
enough in the bitter separation from loved relatives and native lands. 
Looking on, we muse over the joys and sorrows, hopes and disap- 
pointments, they must have suffered in the far-away country of ours, 
altogether " out of the world " as they deemed it, ever coming here 
reluctantly, — so their historians tell us. 

Tmly it was not all the brave battles and masterful domination, of 
which history is so full, that formed the lives of the Romans and their 
auxiliary cohorts here by Tyne waters. As we stood in the Roman 
burial place, nigh sheltered sunny Risingham, on the banks of Reed 
river, a few days before, we seemed to see before us that Roman 
soldier of the Vangionian cohort and his grief-stricken wife, who, 
1,600 years ago, had, on perchance just such a bright morning as 
this, passed out of the noisy garrison town yonder to the quiet 
graveyard where we now stood, and here upon this very spot the two • 
parents consigned to her last resting-place in this foreign land their 
baby-daughter, setting up a stone to mark her grave, and carving on 
it a mde figure of their heart's treasure, under which the father in- 
scribes : " Blescius Diovicus consecrates this to the gods of the 
departed souls for his daughter, who lived one year and twenty-one 
days." Close by at the same place stood a second stone, that brought 
up before our imaginings the figure of another young Roman soldier, 
who also, far away from home and kindred, had to bow his manly head 
in sorrow, as with filial love he erected his memorial over his mother, 
and inscribed the stone with such simple, tender words that we, read- 
ing them across all those sixteen centuries, cannot but love the man 
who wrote them : " Sacred to the divine manes of Aurelia Lupula, to a 
mother most affectionate, Dionysius Fortunatus, her son, erects this. 
May the earth lie light upon you." Let the creeds of those tender- 
hearted, mourning Roman soldiers have been what they may— and 

The River Tyne. 249 

the two inscriptions point to beliefs of very diverse kinds — ^the first 
form has often been found in connection with early Christian burials, 
the second, of course, never — but let their creeds have been 
what they may, those few words rudely cut upon the stones by 
Tyneside carry down to us along the ages that unerring ** touch of 
nature that makes the whole world kin," sending through our 
human hearts a thrill of brotherly pity for those unknown troubled 
souls who have passed beyond the reach of human pity so long ago ! 
I might give numbers of other as touching examples of memorial 
stones set up by parents to their children and children to their 
parents, husbands to wives and wives to husbands, brothers to 
sisters and sisters to brothers, that have been found at various of the 
Roman stations by Tyne. Pity it is that stones like these should 
ever be moved from the spot where Roman hands first placed them ; 
but unfortunately, if they are to be preserved at all, they must be 
removed. Hundreds, no doubt, have been lost, broken up for road 
mending and otherwise destroyed \ and most of those that remain 
have, in recent years, been carried to museums and private collec- 
tions. The first stone, the inscription on which I have quoted, is now 
lodged in Trinity College, Cambridge. Were it not for the careful 
diligence of the local antiquaries. Dr. Bruce's magnificent books on the 
Roman wall, and Hodgson's Northumbrian history, we should now find 
it an impossible task to name correctly the Roman towns, and localise 
the inscribed stones and other Roman remnants that still abide ^dth 
us. The Roman towns, most of which have preserved more or less 
distinct traces of their existence, some having considerable portions 
of their walls still standing, are : Segedunum (Wallsend), Pons -^lii 
(Newcastle), Condercum (Benwell), Vindobala (Rutchester), Hun- 
num (Halton), Cilumum (Chesters), Procolitia (Carrawburgh), 
Borcovicus (Housesteads), Vindolana (Chesterholm, or Little 
Chesters), -^sica (Great Chesters), Magna (Carvoran), Bremenium 
(High Rochester), Habitancum (Risingham), Corstopitum (Corches- 
ter), Alionis (Whitley Castle). There are also the remains of a Roman 
town at Ebchester, and remains of military stations at North and 
South Shields, at Jarrow, and other places. The force which con- 
stantly garrisoned the Tyne portion of the wall and the adjoining 
towns and stations may be computed roughly to have amounted to 
from 6,000 to 8,000 fighting men; besides an unnumbered host of 
civilians, women, and children. The troops, although all officered 
by Italians, were composed of many nationalities. Inscriptions found 
in profusion ^testify to the presence of legionary soldiers, along with 
auxiliary alss of cavalry and cohorts from all parts of Europe. There 

250 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

iware Dacians from the east, Gauls from the west, Batavians from the 
.Qtorth, Vardiili from the south. There was a cohort of Frisians from 
: Holland, and there were two cohorts of Nervi from Belgium. There 
\Was a cohort of Thracians from Roumelia, and a cohort of Dalmatians 
from the borders of the Hadriatic Sea. There were Moors from 
Africa, and Hamians from Syria. And of Spanish cavalry there were 
. jthree Asturian alae. Many inscriptions we have prove that not a 
: few of the above-named troops were permanently localised through- 
Out the entire Roman occupation as the established guardians of 
-these parts: as, for example, the cohort of Batavians, which fought in 
the battle of the Grampians, under Agricola, have left traces of 
their occupation of Procolitia (Carrawburgh) for more than three 
hundred years, to the beginning of the fifth century, when they are 
recorded in the Notitia as being still quartered in this place. The 
.^ame may be said of the Tungrian cohorts quartered at Borcovicus 
: (Housesteads), and of others. Of course in times of emergency, when 
•tjie Caledonians threatened the Roman forces in overwhelming 
- numbers, and bore down upon them with indomitable courage, as 
they often did, the Tyne and Eden troops would have to be largely 
augmented from the more southern parts of Britain; as also when all 
was peace up here, and disturbances broke out in other directions, 
portions of the wall forces would probably be sent south for a time. 
But as a rule the legions, or portions of legions, the alse and cohorts 
remained permanendy localised, individual soldiers changing ^as 
their terms of military service concluded, and they were at liberty to 
return home. 

Whoever undertakes to write the memoir of this river will have to 
, unravel a long and chequered story, and one well worth the telling. 
The T)nie has indeed witnessed many stately, as well as terrible, 
passages in England's history. Not only have Roman emperors trod 
its banks, Saxon kings also have held their courts within the walls of its 
chief towns, and Danish leaders have sailed up its tide, and from 
hence have carried fire and sword and fearful desolation through all 
the country round, extinguishing utterly, for a time, the calm, piu-e 
torch of Christian piety that had blessed the land exceedingly, having 
here doubtiess first flickered into being in those early ages of the 
.Roman occupation. Norman conquerors followed, and throughout 
Northumberland found tougher work to do than perchance they 
found elsewhere in the whole of England ; and roughly and terribly 
they did their work up here ; the fertile lands became a howling 
wilderness; men, women, and children, driven from their homes, di^ 
by hund]:eds and thousands in the ditches; in their misery and hunger 

The River Tyne. 25 1 

they would feed greedily oh horses and dogs, and at last even prey 
upon human flesh. Then die, they would if die they must — these men 
of Saxon, Danish, and Scandinavian blood — sooner than submit to be 
sold as slaves by their cruel conquerors. If Tyne river could only 
speak, what horrible records of suffering under Norman rule might 
be disclosed, which now lie hidden in that deep mournful bosom of 
the buried past ! Northumberland we know lay in ruins long after 
the Conquest, and Doomsday Book has naught to record of posses- 
sions here, save a dreary iteration of " Waste, waste, waste ! " The 
ravished country, however, was not without some strong, determined 
men, who clung to it tenaciously ; nor could the fierce Normans hold 
their own against those wild Northumbrian spirits until aj3. 1080, 
when the proud conqueror's son set about the task, and reared the 
New Castle close by, or rather upon the old Roman station of Pons 
^lii upon Tyne, using in its construction the very stones that were 
cut and fashioned by the imperial troops of Rome eight centuries 
before. And there still stands the New Castle, joint memorial of the 
Roman Hadrian and the Norman William, now surrounded by the 
wealthy, busy town to which it has given a name. The grim old 
donjon keep, firm as in the days when Robert Curthous built it, is a 
stately marking-post, reared just midway in our island story. Out- 
side, round its black walls, rolls the vast stream of trade, the bustling 
hurry of present life; within, carefully gathered together, lie the most 
valuable collection of British Roman antiquities we possess, consist- 
ing of altars to many gods, funeral memorials to individuals of many 
nations, inscribed slabs with historic names thereon, and allusions to 
many dates and events of deepest interest, broken pillars, capitals, 
tiles, household belongings of pottery, glass, iron, shoes, trinkets, 
money, &c. — a vast variety of matters gathered out of the ruins of 
Tyneside Roman towns. But after Roman, and Saxon, and Dane, 
and Norman had swept along, leaving their varied traces by the 
waters of the Tyne, however other parts of England may have more 
or less rested in quietness, up here, albeit the gleaming light of saintly 
lives and righteous deeds glowed out bright and calm now and again, 
the commonest sights and sounds continued to be battle-cries and 
bloodshed, flaming homesteads and depopulated villages, and de- 
vastated fields, that lay often untilled through a whole generation by 
reason of the anarchy that prevailed through all those centiuies of 
Scottish raids and Border turmoil that followed the Norman Conquest, 
afflicting Tyneside bitterly down to the reign of George III., when, 
for the first time, the sheriff of Northumberland was able to execute 
process through the valleys of Tynedale. Even now, at Newcasde, 

252 The Gmtleman's Magazine. 

when you hear the great bell of St. Nicholas Church ring out an 
imaccountable peal on the evening preceding the horse and cattle 
fair, be it known to all whom it may concern that the church is 
announcing that while the fair lasts, and until, at its conclusion, 
another peal is heard from the crowned steeple, no inconvenient 
questions shall be asked of those who come with beasts for sale as to 
how those beasts came into their possession ; neither shall any man 
be asked why he presumes to come under the arm of the law by 
venturing into the good town of Newcastle. In fine, the bell you 
hear is the " Thief and reaver bell," without which authoritative 
guarantee being given as an arranged signal of oblivion, for the time, 
to cattle-lifters, outlaws, and the like, in " the good old times," no 
fair could possibly have been held in Newcastle, for no horses or 
cattle could have been procured — all the beasts being ill-gotten, and 
all who brought them to the fairs being to a man only too well known 
as outlaws ! Happily times are somewhat changed, though the bell 
still rings for the old custom's sake. 





IF there is one stranger of American extraction whose reception, 
should he ever arrive, might inspire jealousy in the mind of 
General Grant, it is the Colorado beetle. Already, before he has 
sent any direct intimation of his coming, the ceremonial which 
attends the progress of distinguished foreigners is prepared, and the 
artists who lie in wait to catch the lineaments of greatness have in a 
spirit of subtle flattery discounted public enthusiasm and rendered 
us familiar with his appearance in anticipation of his visit. Whether 
we shall light such fires of welcome as have blazed in Germany 
remains to be seen. Meantime, it seems likely that public curiosity 
will not prove to have been vainly stimulated, but that the august 
stranger, like most of those whose reception at home has been out of 
keeping with their own estimate of their merits, will take up perma- 
nentiy his abode in our midst According to a report, which has 
since received official contradiction, he has already been seen, a gen- 
tleman having claimed to have detected him on one of the Dublin 
quays, which he had reached by means of a rope from a vessel. 
His unobtrusive appearance in that portion of the United Kingdom 
best provided with his favourite esculent, would, had the report 
been true, have spoken for his sagacity as well as his modesty. 
According to a statement of Mr. Andrew Murray, F.L.S., read 
before the Horticultural Society, the Colorado beetle is less restricted 
in its views upon food than is generally believed. Anyhow, it is well 
to disseminate widely the information that Paris Green mixed with 
gypsum or flour and dusted over the leaves of the plants it affects, 
is likely to prevent a too rapid propagation of its larvae. 

ANY anecdote relating to science is always welcome, and especi- 
ally if it is connected with the Electric Telegraph. Two 
friends of mine, A and B, were asked to dine with C the other day, 
but were not quite certain whether it was a bachelor party or other- 
wise. If Mrs. C. was at home, they would have to appear in evening 
clothes (which they hated), and B deputed A to discover this. He 
did so, and telegraphed to B : '* You must wear a tail coat." Struck 

254 '^^ Gentleman's Magazine. 

by the brevity of the communication, the young lady at the 
telegraph office inquired, "Is that all^ sir?" Poor A, who is very 
bashful, was horrified, and hastily added, " and your other eventftg 

A RECENT utterance of Professor Ruskin at the latest anni- 
versary of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
is worth study. Commenting upon the report, he declared that 
the society " had not endeavoured sufficiently to promote affectioBi 
to animals." It had been " too much in the police courts, and not 
enough in the field and cottage garden." A similar rebuke might 
with justice be directed against more than one kindred organisation. 
That bellicose spirit which we know underlies our civilised exterior finds 
special manifestation in secretaries of societies, who, in their anxiety 
to obtain advertisements, are apt to convert into instruments of 
oppression agencies which were established for purely benevolent 
purposes. The " sons of harmony," as Hood calls the musicians, 
are supposed to be exceptionally prone to " coming to cuffs." A 
like tendency seems to be developed by the professional pursuit of 
mercy. Had Shakespeare lived now, he would have found cause to 
qualify his assertion, that " the quality of mercy is not strained." At 
any rate, its application is sometimes " strained " to very wrong 

SOME day, no doubt, the history of the bicycle will be as interest- 
ing, from the historical point of view, as the annals of the old 
coaching times now are; but in the mean while very little is known of 
it. Except when a monster meeting of the two-wheeled steeds and 
their riders takes place, as at Hampton Court the other day, no 
public notice is taken of these swift and noiseless machines, which 
can easily cover a hundred miles in the twenty-four hours, and will 
one day be an arm of " the Service." The practice of " keeping a 
bicycle " is growing very common among young men of the middle 
ranks, and is at least as commendable as many of the habits of their 
superiors. A young Scotchman of my acquaintance, who rejoices in 
a very well bred animal of this description, with steel backbone, and 
in splendid condition, rode to Dumfriesshire (from London) on it in 
a few days last month. All went well with him till he reached his 
"native heath." The English population had everywhere some 
acquaintance with the animal, and at the best only stared and 
uttered the national shibboleth ; but as my friend was ascending the 
last hill, with thoughts fuU of the beloved village at the top of it in 

Table-Talk. ^Sj^ 

which he had passed his infanqr, and muimuring some pathetic lln6f 
from Bums, he met a fellow-comitryman driving a cart with a Scotdi' 
horse in it Neither of them had ever seen such a spectacle. TK^ 
man threw himself out of the vehicle with a wild reference to *' AtUd* 
Homie/' and fled to the mountains; the horse and cart charged? 
down the hill and smashed the bicycle to smithereens. My friend it 
alive, and that is all; he plaintively compares his experience with thM: 
of Mungo Park, who, after exploring " Afric's wilds " in safety, broke 
his neck by falling over the drawing-room mat at home. His* 
national feeling prevents him from seeing that his own fate was exactly 
the reverse of M. P.'s. 

Speaking of bicycles, let me extract the following from 1i^ 
Exchange 'and Mart last month:— "48-in. Special Challenge [I 
suppose the name of the steed], a magnificent machine, made to 'my' 
order this spring, cycle bearings, Carter's patent brake, &c, &G., C08t 
me jQi(>' Would accept handsome gravestone, to be erected fti 
Lower Norwood Cemetery, in exchange. Short of cash only 
reason." The way in which he lingers over his beloved bicyctd 
(though I have spared my readers much of it) is really most pathetic, 
and quite equal to anything ever said (or sung) by Arab .on parti^ 
with his steed. Nothing but dire necessity would induce him to sell 
it: '^ short of cash only reason.'' He has nothing left to live npon,^ 
but evidently wishes to be interred magnificently, and is very pattS-' 
cular as to the locality. What strikes one as curious is the extremely 
limited area of possible exchangers to which he addresses himseK 
Who has got a handsome gravestone in Lower Norwood cemetery 
to spare, and especially to exchange for a bicycle ? 

THE sting of a nickname is likely to be extracted when the 
bearer is content to assume it as a title of honour, and answer 
it as Prince Hal answered the challenge of Hotspur : " Thou speak'st 
as if I would deny my name." In this spirit we seem to have ac- 
cepted the name of a " nation of shopkeepers," thrown at us by 
Napoleon. Mr. Gladstone has discovered that oin: care for th6 
main chance dates back to the time of Caxton, and praises the first 
of English printers for neglecting the example of his foreign masters^ 
or rivals, and printing works for which there was a popular demand 
instead of beautifiil editions of the classics. It is possible that 
Caxton's experience as a mercer taught him to reconcile in his work 
the tradesman with the [artist. It is difficult to imagine, however, 
that he could count upon any extensive sale for such works as the 
Recueil des Histoires de Troyes, which is supposed to be his first 

256 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

production, and which, under the patronage of Margaret, Duchess of 
Burgundy, in whose household he was, he subsequently translated. 
Outside the court and the monastery, there could have been little 
taste for works of solid erudition. The great -claim of Caxton is that 
by the translations he executed, or caused to be executed, he contri- 
buted to form a public such as could scarcely have existed to his 

It is not generally known that two fine Caxtons were recently 
discovered in a small shop south of the Thames, and were obtained 
by their first purchaser for the traditional " song.*' 

WHAT things people do advertise ! In Hammersmith the 
other day I saw this announcement : " Cheap Trip. The 
Christian Mission Hallelujah Railway is one of the quickest, cheapest, 
and best routes from the Deepest Depths of Sin to the Highest 
Heights of Glory. Booking Office in the Town Hall next Sunday. 
T. P. Gray, the Hallelujah Guard, and Beaupr^, the Happy Engine 
Driver, will (D.V.) instruct passengers how to obtain Through Tickets 
without money and without price." I often wonder whether the class 
of persons who habitually use the letters D.V. are acquainted with 
their meaning ; if so, they must be very egotistic to imagine their 
proceedings to be of such profound importance as to necessitate 
the quotation; if not, they are in the position of the excellent old 
lady who wrote to say she should come and dine with her daughter 
on Wednesday, D, K, and on Thursday at ail events. 

A SCHOONER-RIGGED BOAT, 20 feet long, has been " spoken 
with" in the Atlantic, and found to contain a man and his 
wife, bound to Falmouth from the United States. They had been 
35 days out, and had had " several gales." So I should think. 
Imagine a man's being shut up with his wife in a boat 20 feet long 
for 35 days (it sounds like a rule-of- three sum, but it's much harder) 
without a gale 1 The newspapers call it a " Daring Adventure," as 
well they may. One ship that " spoke " them supplied this intrepid 
pair, I am glad to say, with brandy. 




September 1877. 



Cha1>ter XXV. 


THE election was over. All the principal persons with whom we 
are concerned had come back to town. Keeton had nearly 
relapsed, for the time at least, into its ordinary condition. The riot, 
noisy and alarming as it was, had cost no life, not even that of the 
poor policeman who seemed most in danger. No doubt the seeds of 
a popular discontent were sown pretty broadly in the place, which will 
bear thorny growth some future day ; but Keeton just now seems 
only the sleepier for the reaction after its unwonted excitement. The 
persons of this story who were concerned in the election might be 
said to be in somewhat similar condition. They seemed much the 
same as before ; but the days in Keeton had scfwn some seeds for 
them, too, which will probably grow into influence on all their lives. 

Lady Limpenny paid a visit to Mrs. Money. She had not seen 
her friends in Victoria Street since the election, and she was in great 
curiosity to hear something about it, and about some rumours indi- 
rectly connected with it, which had reached her ears. She went early, 
in order that she might find Mrs. Money alone. 

Mrs. Money might be described as alone, so far as visitors were 
concerned. Only her younger daughter was with her. Lucy was looking 
very pretty, but pale ; and she had a certain restiessness of manner and 
quick brilliancy of eyes which Lady Limpenny observed, although 
usually a woman rather imaginative than actually observant. Lady Lim- 
penny smiled and nodded to herself, as it might seem ; after the fashion 
of one who congratulates herself on having judged correctly, and who 
VOL, ccxLi. NO. 1 761. s 

258 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

says to her owm soul, " Exactly ; it is just as I thought it would be." 
But the smile and nod might be taken as partly intended for the 
general company in this case. Lady Limpenny appeared as if she 
were willing that Mrs. Money and her daughter should be taken, in 
an unacknowledged and modest way, into the confidence of her 

Mrs. Money went eagerly forward to welcome her old friend, and 
was cordially glad to see her, as, indeed, she was usually glad to see 
most persons. Lucy, as we know, did not greatly care for Lady 
Limpenny. She had now to submit to a peculiarly tender embrace, 
which she did with a particularly bad grace, looking all the time away 
from Lady Limpenny, even while she submitted to be kissed by her. 
Then she withdrew to a little sofa of her own, and was heard to ex- 
press a wish that Nola Grey would come soon. On hearing this 
utterance Lady Limpenny looked round at her, and smiled and 
nodded again more benignly than ever. 

" And so our dear friend Heron is in Parliament," Lady Limpenny 
said, in her soft, thunderous voice. " He is actually an M.P. ! I am 
so glad ; and you have all had such delightful adventures ! Your 
names in the papers ! I read it all with such envy. Yes ; I always 
longed to be in an adventure and to have my name in the papers. I 
tried to get Sir James to listen to it, but he does not care for these 
things. You were all near being killed ! And our friend, the hand- 
some poet — now, do tell me again what his name is — he was lost, and 
actually supposed to be killed, or taken prisoner, or assaulted, or 
something of the kind. How delightful ! I should so like to have 
been with you." 

" Oh ! Mr. Blanchet was not much hurt," Lucy said in a rather 
scornful tone. ** He only got into the fight somehow ; I don't know, 
I'm sure, what brought him there ; and then he went away to 
London. I think something must have offended him." 

Lucy had seen, and had not forgotten or forgiven, the poet's 
conduct when Mr. Sheppard was brought to the hotel during the riot, 
and she had not seen his subsequent dash into the strife, and paid 
but little attention to what was told her about it. But in any case 
poor Blanchet had long ceased to be a hero of hers. There was a 
time when he was her idol, and when she tried to believe in all manner 
of quaint artistic theories because they were his ; and when, if he had 
expressed an aesthetic opinion that a lady ought to wear a coal- 
scuttle on her head, Lucy would have fought hard to get her mother's 
permission to mount the article. It is strange, as the once popular 
song used to say, how a woman can think the man a bore, she thought 

Miss Misanthrope. 259 

a god before. At least, it is strange, perhaps, that she should make the 
change so soon ; or, if it be contended that even that is not strange, 
it will surely be admitted that it is strange she could not contrive or 
attempt to make the change a little less glaringly apparent One 
might have thought that this good little Lucy had already forgotten 
that she ever looked to Mr. Blanchet with wonder and admiration. 

" Mr. Heron says that Mr. Blanchet was in great danger, Lucy, 
my dear," her mother interposed in remonstrance ; " and Minola 
Grey speaks very highly of his conduct all the time." 

" But why did he disappear in that abrupt sort of way ? why 
didn't he tell anyone where he was going?" the pertinacious Lucy 
kept on. " We were all alarmed about him, and all for nothing ; and 
we had quite enough to think about without that." 

"But, my dearest darling Lucy, don't you look on a poet as 
different from ordinary people? I am sure /do. I should not like 
to think of our dear friend — now, do. tell me again what is his name — 
I shouldn't like to think of his acting just as everyone else would do. 
Oh, no ; I like a poet to be a poet. I am so passionately fond of 
poetry ; and I have had to give it all up of late. I dare not read a 
poem now." 

"For your soul's sake, Lady Limpenny ? " the irreverent Lucy 
asked saucily. 

" Darling, yes. For my soul's sake, as you say. I was forgetting 
all my higher duties in life, and all that I owe, dearest, to the future 
life, in my love for the poetry of that delightful writer — oh, now, 
what 7uas his name ? — who wrote that lovely poem in the winter that 
everybody was talking about. My dear, the doctrines taught in that 
poem were something awful — I do assure you, awful. No one could 
read them long and be assured of safety in the higher sphere." 

" I think I remember the book," Mrs. Money said ; " I think you 
lent it to me, Laura ; but it did not strike me as containing any 
doctrines of a dangerous kind. It did, indeed, protest in powerful 
accents against the system under which this country is rushing to her 

" I dare not read it, dearest Theresa ; I dare not, indeed ; it 
would unhinge my mind. But I dare not read any poems now." 

I^dy Limpenny presently rose to go ; but she paused even in the 
act 01 making her adieux, and, taking Lucy's hand in a manner of the 
tenderest affection, she asked : 

" But now, darling, what is this I hear about you? Is it true, this 
very delightful piece of news — at least, delightful if it is true ? Do 
tell me, dearest ; it can't be always kept a secret, you know." 


26o The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

Lucy tried to get her hand away ; the unconscious Lady 
Limpenny retained it as if she were a privileged lover. Lucy could 
only look away and try to keep as composed as possible. 

" Really, I don't know what you mean, Lady Limpenny. I don't know 
what the news is ; and so I don't know whether it is deUghtful or not." 

" You very very naughty, sly little thing ! So you won't tell even 
such an old friend ? Well, your mamma won't be so naughty, I am 
sure, ril come in and talk to her to-morrow or next day, when I am 
quite sure that you are not here. Oh, indeed, I will ! I am sure now 
it ts true ; and I offer you my congratulations." 

Mrs. Money seemed as if she would try to interpose some protest 
against Lady Limpenny's conclusions ; but there was no possibility 
of stopping that lady, or of correcting any apprehensions she might 
have formed. She gathered her skirts about her and was gone, 
chattering all the time, before anyone could put in a word of expla- 
nation, and firmly convinced that she knew all the truth about every- 
thing, and that her way of exhibiting it must have been delightful to 

Her display of knowledge was certainly not pleasing to Lucy 
Money in this instance. She seemed greatly annoyed, and, when 
Lady Limpenny had gone, she left the room and hid herself away 
somewhere. Mr. Money came home almost immediately, and his 
wife took the opportunity of expressing some of her fears to him about 
Lady Limpenny's talk and Lucy's way of taking it 

" She's quite put out by it, Money dear, I do assure you. I 
never saw her so much hurt by anything of the kind before." 

** I wish that silly old Laura Limpenny didn't talk in that way," 
Money said with more earnestness in his manner than the talk of 
Lady Limpenny might have seemed to be worth. " It annoys Lucy, 
of course ; and then, what she said here she will say in half a dozen 
places before the day is over." 

" But, Money dear, it can't always be kept a secret These things 
always do get talked about I really don't see what hann it does 
even if they were." 

" No, perhaps not ; in an ordinary case, perhaps not But some- 
how I don't like it in this case. I wish nothing had been said. Do 
you think Lucelet is quite happy, Theresa ? " 

" Surely, dear, I should think so — oh, yes, she must be happy, 
very happy. Of course it is a trial — all girls feel it so, especially when 
they are brought up so much at home." 

Mr. Money seemed unusually grave. He stood and beat time on 
his chin with his fingers. 

Miss Misanthrope. 261 

" I don't know," he said, " somehow ; but I think everything is 
not quite right with the little girl. She is fond of him ? " he asked, 
turning abruptly to his wife. 

" Oh, yes, dear — she adores him." 

" Yes ? You think so ? Well, I am sure I think so too ; I was 
quite certain of it. Of course she is young, and girls often don't 
know their own minds a bit — no, confound it, nor boys either, for 
that matter. I think at one time she used to be fond of that fellow 
Blanchet ; and now she does not care twopence about him. . I say, 
Theresa, if this should be the same sort of thing ? " 

" But, my dear, it isn't ; you may be quite sure of that I can tell 
you that for certain. Why, only look at her eyes when he is near I 
and Lucy has told me again and again that she never thought about 
Mr. Blanchet in that sort of way." 

"Yes, I have watched her, Theresa, as you say, and I have 
looked at her eyes and all that ; and I did believe, certainly, that it 
was quite a different thing this time. If I hadn't thought it — my 
good heavens !— should I have meddled or made in the affair?" 

Mr. Money walked uneasily up and down the room once or twice. 
His wife looked at him anxiously, but she did not quite follow his 
meaning or appreciate his alarms. She was indeed, at the moment, 
engaged in thinking whether something could not be done to make 
the life of poor Mr. Blanchet a little more happy than it seemed at 
present to be. She was convinced in her heart that Blanchet must 
be suffering keenly on account of Lucy, and, as the helper of unhappy 
men, she burned with a wish to do something for him. She had so 
completely made up her mind that Lucy was having all her desire in 
life, and, having it, must be satisfied, that all her anxiety on her 
daughter's behalf seemed to have come to an end, and her cares pro- 
perly reverted to the outer world. 

" Yes, I thought it was all right." Mr. Money suddenly came to 
a stop in his walk. " I had not the least idea that it was not all right; 
but then one doesn't know — at least, / don't — whether it isn't a pecu- 
liarity of girls that when you get for them what they want, then, by 
Jove, they don't want it any more : and I tell you, Theresa, I have 
been thinking of this a good deal lately — in the last few days." 

There are, perhaps, women who might have been disposed to 
remark to Mr. Money that anyhow the affair was pretty well all his 
own doing. There are women who possibly would have given him 
no better comfort than the reminder that they had not advised him 
to do the things he had done; and that, perhaps, if he had sought the 
advice of his wife a little more, the result might have been more satis- 

262 The Gentlemaiis Magazine. 

factory. Mrs. Money had no ideas of the kind. Even if she had 
known more clearly than she did the meaning of his alarm, it would 
never have occurred to her to doubt that he had done the very best 
thing possible under any given circumstances. If things went wrong 
after that, it must be the fault of the things ; it could not be the fault 
of Mr. Money. 

The talk was interrupted for the present by the arrival of visitors, 
for this was one of Mrs. Money's days of reception. Presently Lucy 
herself returned. Mr. Money drew her aside, and asked her one or 
two casual questions. Then he said suddenly, and fixing his eyes on 
his daughter, without giving her any time to think of herself or to 
conceal her feelings : 

" Isn't Victor coming here to-day, Lucelet ? " 
The eyes of the girl sparkled again as she answered, and his eyes 
watched her answer: 

" Oh, yes, papa dear ; I expect him every moment ; you don't 
think he is not coming, do you ? " 

The smile that sometimes made Mr. Money's rough face look 
almost handsome came over it as he saw the expression in his 
daughter's eyes. He took Lucy playfully by the chin. 

" I should think he was coming indeed, Lucelet ; I rather think 
you know more about his movements than I do. So Laura Limpenny 
has been talking her nonsense ! " 
Lucy coloured. 

" Oh, yes, papa dear. I wish that dreadful woman did not come 
here; she talks of such things; it is humiliating to hear oneself 
talked about in that way." 

" Oh, that's all, is it ? don't you mind her talk, Lucelet ; it can't 
be helped, anyhow ; and remember that if you were a princess all 
the gossips of Europe would be talking about you." 

Then he left his daughter and went to talk to some one else, 
somewhat relieved in his mind for the moment He watched his 
Lucelet, however, all the time. 

Presently he saw her eyes light up and her cheeks colour, and 
then her eyes droop again ; and she looked wonderfully pretty, he 
thought, — and so, indeed, might anyone else have thought as well who 
happened to see her just then. If any one of us looking on might 
have admired the expression on the pretty girl's crimsoning face, 
what admiration must he have felt for whom that brightening colour 
came and those eyes sparkled? — the king for whom — as Lady 
Castlewood so prettily said — that red flag was displayed ? For Mr. 
Money knew, before he had seen any new-comer enter the room, that 

Miss Misanthrope. 263 

the visitor whose coming caused all that brightness was the member 
for the borough of Keeton. Victor Heron had entered the room, 
and was already talking to Lucy. 

Victor, then, had won everything for which he strove, and some- 
thing too for which he had not striven. He had won a brilliant arid 
an unexpected victory. Never before in the memory of man had the 
borough of Keeton been represented by a Liberal. There was 
nothing else of any particular interest going on in politics, and the 
attention of the country had really been turned for some days very 
keenly on Keeton. The riot, the family quarrel, the fact that Heron 
had to fight against family influences, Tory influences, and the 
red republicans all at once, had made his enterprise seem so 
dashing that, even if he had lost, he would have got a certain 
repute by it. But, when it was found that he had positively won, he 
became the hero of the hour with the pubHc, while with his own 
party he was a person to be made the very most of, and applauded 
to the echo. No fear of his not finding men of mark to take up his 
grievance now. 

The adventurous St Paul had kept his word. Nothing but his 
intervention could possibly have carried the place for Victor, or kept 
poor Sheppard out of Parliament. Coming just at the right moment, 
St. Paul had caught the affections of the fierce democrats, the pro- 
letairiate with the dash of atheist in it, and had drawn the voters 
away Sheppard. Many of them had determined to give their 
votes rather for the man whom they called their outspoken enemy — 
the Tory, that is to say — than for the doubtful fiiend, as every pro- 
fessing Liberal seemed to them to be who could not go all the way 
with the social revolution and them. St. Paul captivated enough of 
them to leave Sheppard solely to the support of the thorough Tories, 
who had no grievance against the ducal family; and the result was 
that Victor Heron won the election, or had it thus won for him without 
his knowledge or consent Not the faintest suspicion of " a put-up 
thing " existed in any mind. It was perfectly well known in Keeton 
and elsewhere that Victor Heron had positively refused to have any- 
thing to do with St Paul, and that they had all but quarrelled ; and, 
indeed, the general opinion was that St Paul had undertaken his 
candidature for the sake of spoiling Victor's chance. He fended, 
people thought, that the extreme "rads" or "reds" might give their 
votes to Victor for lack of any stronger Liberal, and he therefore cut 
in between merely for the sake of destroying the game of the man 
who would not accept his assistance. A great many people were 
amused at his folly and his odd miscalculation; and even Money 

264 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

wondered how he could have been so badly advised, and how he 
could have failed to see that in what he did l^e was playing Victor's 
game and npt spoiling it. 

Victor Heron, then, has won, and is on the high road to be a poli- 
tical and a social success, and to have his grievance set right now, if 
he cares about it or has time to think about it any more. It is said 
that he is to be married to Mr. Money's pretty daughter, who will 
have a great fortune, people are certain ; to say nothing of the fact 
that Money has no son, and that at his death most of his property 
will probably go to his rising son-in-law. Truly does young Heron 
seem to many persons a man who has dropped from the clouds to 
fall into fortune. A disappointed politician of sixty who started 
with splendid self-conceit, good abilities, and very fair chances, and 
with all has come to nothing, draws the moral of his personal failure 
from the story he hears of Victor Heron's success. " You see, he 
can do what I never could do," he says ; " he can entertain the 
party. I defy any man to make his way in political life in a country 
like this if he has not the means to entertain his party, and this 
fellow will be able to do that with the girl's fortune and what Money 
must leave him some time." 

It is true, then, what the people say — what Lady Limpenny has 
been so broadly hinting at ? It was, then, as Minola Grey supposed? 
See, she herself has just come in, and is talking with Mr. Money now. 
She seems full of spirits ; at least, she is talking in a very animated 
way. A lady who is present has already remarked, in a low tone, to 
another lady, that she thinks Miss Grey talks too much, and is too 
sarcastic for a yoimg person. Was it as Minola supposed, and did 
the influence of the moonlight and the walk home that night in the 
park at Keeton prove too much for the inflammable heart of Victor 
Heron? No ; that night had passed over, and although Heron had 
felt the influence of the place, the hour, and the circumstances, he 
had not been able to understand his own feelings clearly enough to 
give them expression in words or in acts. It was when he came in 
fresh from the excitement of the Keeton riot, and when he saw that 
Lucy, who with all her love for her father had borne up gallantly 
against the sight of his hurts, became faint the moment she caught 
a glimpse of Heron's wounded face, and had to be taken from the room 
— it was then that the truth was borne in upon Heron for the first time, 
and he was made aware that Lucy Money loved him. He was 
almost overwhelmed by the discovery. This was something of which 
he had never thought. It was all true what he had said to Minola 
Grey that long-past day in Regent's Park — ^he had really had a sort 

Miss Misanthrope. 265 

of goddess theory about women. He had lived so much out of the 
world of fashion, and of what we call life, that he had no chance 
of having his ideal destroyed. If the few Englishwomen whom he 
met in a far colony — the wives and daughters of elderly, experienced 
officials, and such like — were not all that his fancy painted woman- 
hood, he had always the conviction to fall back upon that these were 
no fair illustrations of the maids or the matrons of merry England at 
home. He had always thought of a woman as a being whom a man 
courted and served, and at last, by immense exercise of devotion and 
merit of all kinds, persuaded to listen while he told her of his deep 
and reverent love. It had not occurred to him to think that some- 
times, even among the maids of merry England, the woman makes 
the love, and the man only puts up with it. When it flashed upon 
his mind that Lucy Money loved him, he was like one to whom 
some wholly new and unexpected conditions of life have suddenly 
revealed themselves. He felt, in a strange sort of way, stricken 
humble by the thought that so sweet and good a girl could love him, 
and wish to trust her life into his hands. Is it any wonder if, in the 
flush of his shame and his gratitude, he told himself that he was in 
love with her ? 

Chapter XXVI. 

"luckless love's interpreter." 

The event in which so much success had fallen to the share of 
Victor Heron had not, on the whole, turned out badly for his rival, 
Mr. Sheppard. The latter had lost the election, it is true, but he 
had made a certain repute for himself as a Conservative candidate. 
He was now before the eyes of his party and the country as one who 
had fought a good fight, who had made sacrifices for his cause, and 
who therefore ought to be considered when another vacancy brought 
an opportunity of choosing and supporting a candidate. Mr. Shep- 
pard's name was in the political playbill, and that was something. 
After the defeat of Novara, Count Cavour, then only a rising politician, 
remarked that Piedmont had gained enough to compensate for all 
her losses in having got the right to hoist the national flag. Mr. 
Sheppard had got by his defeat the right to hoist the flag of his party, 
to be one of its bearers, and that was something. He was now 
looked upon everyvi'here as a hian sure to be seen in Parliament 
before long. 

Mr. Sheppard made arrangements for the canying on of his 

266 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

business by other hands than his, and he came to live in London. 
He took handsome lodgings in a western street, not far from where 
Victor Heron lived. He was elected a member of a new Conserva- 
tive dub, and apparently he went about the task of getting into 
society, at least into the political dinner-parties and crowded drawing- 
rooms of society. In that which he had set out to himself as the great 
object of his life he was not, as we have seen, by any means 
despondent He saw that he had greatly risen in the good opinion 
of Minola Grey. She had never been so kind and respectful to him 
as during the contest at Keeton. Always before she had treated him 
with contempt, which she took no trouble to hide ; then, for the first 
time, she had shown some respect and even regard for him. He 
settled himself in London, a hopeful and almost a confident man 
as regarded alike his ambition and his love. He could afford to wait, 
he said to himself. He cultivated as much as possible the acquaint- 
anceship of Mr. Money and of Victor Heron, whom, it is needless 
to say, he no longer regarded with any feelings of jealousy. Mr. 
Money and everyone else admitted that nothing could be more 
manly and creditable than Sheppard's manner of taking his defeat. 
Minola seldom heard him spoken of but with respect. 

The women are not many on whom the public opinion of those 
immediately around them has no influence in determining their 
estimate of a man. Minola began to see that there were qualities in 
her old lover for which she had not given him credit This, indeed, she 
had seen for herself during the contest at Keeton. He had, at all events, 
a certain manly dignity, even if he was slow and formal. She may, too, 
have been impressed in certain moods with the strength and patience 
of his feelings for her. In some melancholy moments she felt a 
sympathy for him, and found a sort of sad amusement in admitting 
to herself that she and her old lover were alike in one part of their 
destiny at all events. But she was sincerely glad to hear that Shep- 
pard was beginning to go out a good deal, and she had a strong hope 
and conviction that in society he must very soon get over his old 
feelings for her. All that was natural enough, she thought, when 
they both lived in the country, and he knew very few women; but 
here in London he must meet with many girls a thousand times 
more attractive — so she was honestly convinced — than she could 
possibly appear even to the most prejudiced eye, and he would soon 
get over the weakness that exalted a country girl into a heroine and 
a goddess. He would meet with women who knew the world — ^the 
world of politics and of society — ^who could assist a man in his public 
career and in his natural ambition, and some one of whom would 

Miss Misanthrope, 267 

doubtless be found to marry him. The thought gave Minola sincere 

Some of this is told a little in anticipation ; for we are, as yet, in 
the first few weeks that followed the Keeton election. There is one, 
nay, there are two, of the personages most prominent to our eyes in 
that contest, of whom we have some account to render before the 
story resumes its regular march. 

Poor Herbert Blanchet found himself a man sadly changed in his 
own estimate when the subsidence of the riot in the Keeton streets 
left him stranded high and dry, and still alive. Not only was he 
alive, but he was absolutely uninjured. The dignity of the slightest 
wound was not on him to make him interesting. All that commotion 
that had seemed to him so terrible that his very soul shrank from it, 
turned out to be, so far as he was concerned, more innocent and 
harmless than a schoolboy game of wrestling. He had been ridicu- 
lous when shrinking from the riot, and he now felt that he must have 
been ridiculous when by sheer force he mastered his quivering nerves 
and threw himself Hterally into it. In the very thick of the battle, 
and when he came to Heron's aid, he thought he saw an inclination 
to good-humoured laughter on Heron's face at the sight of him and 
his weapon. When the riot was over, and the crowd began to dis- 
perse, and the Liberal leaders went into the hotel, nobody took any 
notice of him. He seemed to be of no account in the eyes of anyone. 
Men whose companion he had been during his share of the campaign 
in Keeton passed him rapidly by and did not seem to recognise him ; 
they were all thinking of other things and other persons, clearly. 
Even Heron, to whose help he had come, did not think it worth his 
while apparentiy to make any inquiry about him. 

We know, of course, that Heron did find time and thought to ask 
about the poet ; but the poet did not know this. The thought, how- 
ever, which most disturbed Blanchet's mind was not that Heron had 
been ungrateful to him, but that clearly, in the mind of men like 
Heron, the whole affair was a matter of no moment — an ordinary event 
at an election, involving an amount of danger such as men encoun- 
ter in their huntings and their other pastimes of which Blanchet 
knew little, and not enough to be seriously thought of a moment after 
it was past It was, then, for danger such as this that the poet had 
twice made himself ridiculous in the eyes of Minola Grey. It was for 
danger like this that he had exposed himself to hear from her the 
bitterest words that man can hear from woman. In truth, it is not 
certain that poor Blanchet was really a coward. He had been 
put suddenly in front of a sort of trial entirely new to him, and his 

268 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

physical nen'es had shrunk from it at first. He had not a virile 
nature ; he had none of the strong animal spirits which carry so many 
men through all manner of danger without giving them time to think 
about it. He had not mu(!h, if we may say so, of the English nature 
in him; of that cool, strong, unimaginative nature which takes all 
tasks set to it very much as a matter of course, and goes at them 
accordingly to win or lose. When Nature was making Herbert 
Blanchet, there was for some reason or other a little too much of the 
feminine material put into his composition. We often see these 
slight mistakes on the part of Nature. We meet with a tall and 
bearded creature in whom a superabundance of the feminine is always 
showing itself; we find some pretty and delicate being in whom the 
judgment, the inclinations, the way of looking at things, are all 
unmistakably masculine. Blanchet had not lived a manly life ; he 
had, indeed, not lived a life that would be wholesome for man or 
woman. It was not, be it understood, harmful or immoral, as lives 
are accounted on our somewhat dwarfed and formal principles of 
social good or harm ; but it was a life without bracing strength of any 
kind. It was a life of sickly affectations and debauching conceits. 
It made sham as good as effort. In that sort of life it sufficed to . 
think yourself a great person, and to say to your friends that you 
were so, and there was no occasion for the long, healthy, noble labour 
that, with whatever genius, is needed to develop success. It was a 
life of ghastly groping after originality ; a life in which one became 
fantastic, not out of superabundant fancy, but of set purpose. The 
moment an entirely new situation was presented to Blanchet, and he 
was called upon to act under circumstances not previously thought 
out and reduced to theatric form, all the shams were suddenly blown 
away, and the weakly, naked nature was left shivering and shuddering 
in the rough, unaccustomed air of reality. 

Little Mary Blanchet was sitting alone the day after the riot at 
Keeton. It was drawing on towards evening, and she had her books 
of manuscript out on the table and was at work at her poems. She 
was very particular about the copying of her poems ; she began a 
long poem in a bound volume with ruled leaves, and if, in copying, 
she made any mistake, even of a word, she put that volume aside and 
began another. Therefore the one poem at which she was now engaged 
had already produced several of these manuscript books without itself 
approaching much nearer to completion. She was seated before the 
work with her pen in her mouth and her eyes fixed on the ceiling, 
and was in a little doubt between a rhyme which was of excellent 
sound but doubtful grammar, and one of which the grammar was all 

Miss Misanthrope. 269 

right, but the sound was open to challenge. Her own S3rmpathies 
went altogether with the good rhyme, and she was strongly inclined 
to run the risk of being a little superior for once to those narrow 
grammatical rules which offend so many poetesses. While thus, like 
the Achilles of Pope's Homer, " in anguish of suspense delayed," she 
was told that her brother wished to see her. 

Mary sprang up in excitement, let her ink-steeped pen fall on her 
book, thus reducing a new volume to worthlessness, and, scarcely 
stopping even for a plaintive murmur, ran out and brought Herbert 
Blanchet into the room. She was convinced that he must have some 
important intelligence. Could it be that he had proposed for Minola, 
been accepted, and had come back to London in all speed to arrange 
for the wedding ? His face, however, did not look like that ; it was 
haggard and miserable, and the poet had evidently not slept the past 
night. Mary felt her heart sink within her as she looked at him. 

Blanchet sat down and passed his hands wildly through his im- 
kempt hair — hair that, however, looked so beautiful, Mary thought. 

" Well, my sister," he said, with a gloomy effort at being light and 
careless of speech, " I have come back, you see." 

"What has happened, Herbert dear?" the affrighted old maid 
asked; and she trembled all over. 

" Nothing particular, Mary; only that your brother has made a 
fool of himself." 

Then he smiled in a dismal way, with ghastly lips and livid face ; 
and then he put his hands to his forehead, and burst into tears. 

Never was a woman more frightened than poor Mary. She had 
never seen a man in tears before ; she remembered having read and 
shudderingly admired a line in a poem of Mrs. Hemans's, in which 
she, Mary Blanchet, and all the world in general were advised not 
to talk of grief until they had seen the tears of bearded men. Poor 
Mar)' always thought that the tears of bearded men must be some- 
thing very dreadful to see ; but she never expected to see them, for 
she did not think it possible that Englishmen, the only race of men 
she knew, could shed tears under any provocation. Now she was com- 
pelled to look on the tears of a bearded man whom she dearly loved ; 
and she found that Mrs. Hemans's suggestions fell far short of the 
dreadful reality. She tried all she could to comfort her broken-hearted 
brother ; but comfort is particularly unavailing when one does not 
even know the source of the trouble. It was some time before poor 
Blanchet could give his sister any coherent account of his distress. 
"When the story was told, however, it did not seem so hopeless to 
Mary as she had expected. He had not been refused by Minola; 

270 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

he had not even proposed to her. She did not attach much 
importance to the fact that Minola had supposed him — wrongfully, of 
course — to be a coward. He could easily prove, if indeed he had 
not done it already, that he was as brave as she, Mary, knew her 
brother must be. It was wrong of Minola to judge so quickly and 
so harshly, and very unlike Minola ; but, after all, what did it prove 
but the deep interest which she took in Herbert ? She was disap- 
pointed when she thought he was not all that she had expected. 
What did that prove but that she had expected great things ? Well, 
it was not by any means too late to prove tliat her first expectations 
were true estimates of Mary's brother. 

It is a truth that Herbert Blanchet gradually became encouraged, 
and almost restored, if not to his good opinion of himself, yet 
to his hopes. It was wonderful what a person of importance, a wise 
counsellor, a trusty friend, his sister grew to be in his eyes all at once. 
How long is it since he thought her an absurd little old maid in whom 
no person of artistic soul could possibly feel any interest ? How long 
is it since he fully believed that Minola Grey was kind to her partly 
out of pity, and partly because it looked picturesque and charming 
for a handsome young woman to be the patroness and friend of an 
unattractive elderly woman ? How long is it since he was ashamed 
of the relationship, and would gladly have given Minola to understand 
that he considered his sister only a poor little, old-fashioned person, 
whose pretences at poetry and art had his entire disapproval ? And 
now he wept upon her faithful bosom, and drew comfort from her 
flattering but very sincere assurances ; and poured out his feelings 
over and over again ; and asked her to tell him over and over again 
this, that, and the other thing that Minola had said ; and found com- 
fort in her talk ; and would rather have been in her company that 
evening than in the centre of the beloved school, or in the drawing- 
room of a lady of rank. If poor little Mary could have thought of 
such a thing as being revenged upon her brother for all his long neg- 
lect, his selfish desertion of her, she might have found herself well 
avenged that night when he clung to her, and hung upon her words, 
and was only restored to think life worth having by her flatteries and 
her promises that she would do all for him, and had good hope to 
make everything come right even yet 

So far as Mary was concerned, she had hardly ever been so 
happy. It was enough to make her happy at any time to know that 
she was of importance to her poet-brother. But she had also now 
from him tiie confession of his passionate love for her friend. It had 
always smote a little on Mary's conscience that, in helping her 

Miss Misanthrope. 271 

brother in his scheme about Minola, she was not quite certain 
whether, after all, the poet reaUy loved Minola as Mary thought 
Minola deserved to be loved. Now she was satisfied on this point 
Herbert had poured out his whole heart to her, and had showed her 
that his love for Minola was deep, passionate, eternal. It did not 
occur to Mary to suspect that there could be a woman on earth, even 
Minola, who was capable of rejecting the love of a man like 
Herbert Blanchet. That was Mary Blanchet's happiest night thus 
far in London ; her happiest night thus far in life. 

In his misery Blanchet had told the truth. He was really in love 
with Minola. He had gone in for money and a beautiful wife, and 
he had lost himself hopelessly in the game. His self-conceit had 
readily made him believe that the handsome, simple country girl who 
thought so much of his sister must fall in love with him. It was 
only by degrees it dawned upon him that there was a clear strength 
in Minola's character such as he had thought no women ever had. He 
began to see that she was friendly to him, but otherwise unconcerned ; 
and that he was fairly in love with her. He began to be ashamed of 
the pitiful hopes he had formed about her money ; he began to be 
ashamed of a good deal of his character and career. The genuine 
extravagance of the delight which he felt when she enabled him to 
put his poems before the world in such splendid dress, had almost as 
strange an effect on him as the gift of the bishop's candlesticks on 
poor Jean Valjean. It shook all his previous theories of life and its 
philosophy, to find that there was so much of simple generosity in 
the world ; especially to find it in the heart of a girl over whom his 
charms and his affectations seemed to have no manner of influence. 
He found that he had his world to reconstruct. He went home and 
passed some wretched days. He looked back on his life, its theories, 
its affectations, its pitiful little vanities, and he wondered how he 
could ever have thought to make genuine poetry out of such shams 
of emotion and simulacra of beauty. It would require fairy power 
indeed to spin such rubbish of straws into gold. 

Still, he had some hopes from Mary and her influence over 
Minola. It had come to that ; his sister now was his chief resource 
and his star of hope. The artful Mary was not long in bringing her 
plans to maturity and to proof. 

" Minola, dear," she said one evening after Miss Grey had settled 
down in London again, "do you really never think of getting 
married ? " 

" Never, Mary ; why should I, if I don't like?" 

" Well, you can't live always alone in this kind of way.*' 

272 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

" But I am not living alone in any kind of way." 

" Not now ; not exactly now. But I may not live, you know ; I 
don't feel at all like myself lately ; and I shudder at the idea of your 
being left alone. I am so much older than you, Minola." 

" But, Mary, my dear little poetess, if you think marriage such a 
good thing, why didn't you marry?" 

Mary sighed, and cast at her leader a look of gentle, melancholy 

" Ah ! there were reasons for my not marrying which happily don't 
exist for you. And then my life would be a wretched one, Minola, 
but for you. Where are you to get a Minola, dear, when you come 
to be as old as I am now ? " 

. The prospect of growing old never frightens the young. It is 
their conviction that, at worst, they will die before that comes about 
It was not, therefore, the thought of becoming like Mary Blanchet, 
that made Minola seem melancholy for the moment. It was the 
thought of the weariness that life must have for her in any case, 
young or not. She remained thinking for a second or two, until she 
became conscious that Mary was waiting for her to say something. 
Then she tried to get rid of the subject. 

" Well, Mary, at all events I need not trouble myself about mar- 
riage just at this moment ; I don't want to be like the girl in the old 
song, who refused the men before they asked her. No one has been 
asking me lately." 

" I know some one," Mary broke out, " who would ask you if he 
dared. I know some one who loves you — who adores you." 

Minola looked round in amazement It did not occur to her at 
the moment to think of what or whom poor Mary meant. 

Mary rose from her chair and ran to Minola, and threw herself on 
the ground near her in supplication, with her eyes full of tears. 

" It's my brother, Minola ; it's my brother ! He adores you. He 
would die for you. He will die for you if you won't listen to him* 
Oh, do listen to him, darling, and make us all happy ! " 

Minola rose from her chair in such anger as she had seldom 
known before. She was not even particularly careful how she 
extricated herself from Mary's clinging grasp. 

"Are you speaking seriously, Mary?" she asked, in a low tone/ 
and with determined self-restraint. 

" Oh, Minola darling, it's only too serious I He was here the 
other day. He is wretched, he is miserable, because he thinks you 
were angry with him. I thought he would die — I think he will die. 
He didn't want to tell anyone ; but a sister's eyes can't be deceived. 
And it's no use, and he so loves you." 

Miss Misanthrope. 273 

Minola could have found it in her heart to curse Love and all 
his works. This distracting revelation was too much for her. It 
was utterly unexpected. She had never for a moment thought of 
this. Herbert Blanchet had always seemed to her a person to help 
and pity, and sometimes to be angry with and despise. Even if she 
had been a vain girl, it is not likely that the announcement of his love 
would have gratified her vanity. 

" Did he send you to tell me this, Mary?" 

" No, dear," Mary said humbly, losing heart and hope with every 
moment, as she looked into Minola's face, which was pale, and cold, 
and almost hard in its expression. '^ No, dear j but I thought it 
would be better, perhaps, if I were just to speak to you a little about 
it first, just to know how you felt, and then I might perhaps 
encourage him or not, you know; and I thought that might not be so 
unpleasant, perhaps, Minola." 

" You are right, Mary ; it is much less unpleasant. But I think 
I need not give you any further answer, need I ?" 

Minola's manner was strangely cold and hard. She could not 
help feeling as if there were something like treachery in this secret 
arrangement of brother and sister to try to persuade her into a 
marriage which she would otherwise never have thought of. Both 
brother and sister seemed for the moment mean in her eyes ; and 
Minola hated meanness. 

Mary looked wistfully into her leader's cold, stem face. It must 
be said for Minola that the coldness and sternness came from dis- 
appointment rather than from anger. It seemed to her that her 
closest friend had betrayed her. 

" Is there no hope for him ? " Mary asked faintly. 

" I wish you would not talk in that foolish way," Minola said 
coldly. " It is not worthy of you. It ought to be no hope to any 
man that a girl who does not love him or think about him in any 
such way should marry him. And if a man is so silly, his sister ought 
to have better wishes for him. /would not degrade my brother — if I 
could say I had one and were fond of him — by speaking of him in 
such a way. I hope your brother has more sense, Mary, and more 
spirit, than you seem to think." 

" He so loves you ; he does indeed," Mary feebly pleaded. 

" If he really loves me — ^and I hate to use the word, and I hate 

to hear it — I am sorry for him, Mary ; and I am ashamed of him, 

and I feel a contempt for him, and that's all. I hate to think of men 

grovelling in that way, or of women either ; but I do think that if 

vou ccxLi. NO. 1761. t 

274 ^f^ Gentleman's Magazine. 

women are such idiots, they, generally at least, have the spirit to hide 
their folly and not to degrade themselves." 

" But, Minola, a man must speak some time, you know, or how 
can he tell?" Mary argued, plucking up a little spirit on behalf of 
her misprized brother. 

" Your brother might have known perfectly well. He must have 
known. What word did I ever say to him that could make him think 
I cared for him ? Do you think, if a girl cares for a man, and wants 
him to know it, she doesn't let him see it ? I believe," Minola added 
in her bitterness, and with a meaning known only to herself, " women 
have trouble enough to hide their feelings even when they don't 
want them to be known." 

With this word she left the room abruptly, and would hear no 

So ended poor Mary Blanchet's first attempt to plead the love- 
cause of her brother. 

Chapter XXVII. 
"was ever woman in this humour wooed?" 

The days were not pleasant for Minola or Mary which followed 
this disclosure. The two friends for a time did not seem as if they 
were the same persons ; there was a cold constraint between them. 
Minola soon got over her anger to poor Mary, and was only angry 
with herself for having spoken harshly to the unhappy old maid ; but 
she could not revive the confidence that had existed between them 
before. She felt that between them now was something that killed 
confidence. She tried to speak to her companion in tones and words 
if possible more kindly and friendly than ever ; but the genial heart 
of friendship which makes mere words into sweet realities was hardly 
there any more. 

Mary Blanchet was not very good at disguising her feelings. 
Even from Minola, whom she loved, and of whom she stood in some 
awe, she made little effort to conceal the fact that she felt herself a 
sufferer. The curse in the dead man's eye, which told so heavily on 
the Ancient Mariner, was far more bitter, doubtless, than the silent 
reproach in Mary's eye ; but Minola was much oppressed by the 
latter. She felt as if she had been doing some ^vrong to Mary and 
to the cause of friendship and common sisterly womanhood ; and, 

Miss Misanthrope. 2 75 

like all generous natures, she was disposed, when the heat of anger 
and siuprise was over, to throw all the blame on herself, or at least to 
be troubled with the fear that she must have been to blame. She 
b^an to long for a full reconciliation with Mary. She reprd&ched 
herself with having brought the poetess away from her home and her 
friends at Keeton; as if poor Mary had any home there, or any friends 
there or elsewhere except Minola herself. 

" I am going to see my brother," Mary Blanchet said one evening, 
not without a gentle reproach in her voice. 

"Yes, Mary? I am glad. You will give him my regards — my 
very kind regards — will you not?" 

" Oh, yes ; certainly, if you wish it." This was followed by a 
little sigh, as if Mary would have said, " I don't think there is much 
comfort in that, if that is all." 

Minola looked up and saw the melancholy little face. She was 
greatly touched. She thought of their long friendship, going back to 
the days when she was a little child, and regarded Mary as another 
Elizabeth Barrett. She remembered her own brother and her love ' 
for him, and her heart was pierced by the expression in Mary's face. 
She went to the poetess and put her arms round her neck, and the 
poor poetess fairly gave way and was drowned in tears. 

" It's so unhappy ; it's all so unhappy," sobbed Mary. " I never 
thought it would come to this. I can't bear to think of him so, and 
that he should be so wretched ; I can't, indeed." 

Minola waited for a while to let this grief have way ; and, indeed, 
it must be owned that her own tears were hard enough to restrain. 
Then, when the passion of the poetess had a little abated, and Minola 
thought she could listen to reason, she began to reason ^gently, very 

" I know you blame me for this, Mary, my dear old friend, even 
when you try not to show it. But tell me, Mary, where am I to 
blame ? You know I don't want to marry, and you know I ought 
not to marry anyone if I don't — if I don't love him, dear. I do not 
love your brother in that way; and it would be doing him a great 
wrong if I were to marry him merely because I was fond of you, 
you foolish, kind old Mary. He would only feel offended by such 
an idea ; and quite right. I almost wish I could marry him, dear, 
for your sake, and for the sake of all the old times and the pleasant 
days we have had together, and the evenings, and the confidences — 
all the dear old times ! But you would not ask me to do that, Mary? 
you would not let me do it, if I were inclined?" 

Mary sobbed a doubtful assent to this proposition. It is to be 


276 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

feared she felt in her own heart that she would be glad if her friend 
would marry her brother on any account. 

" You don't know what it is to me," Mary murmured out, " to see 
him so unhappy." 

" But, my dear, that won't last always ; he will get over that I 
am not so foolish, Mary dear, as to believe that there is anything in 
me which your brother will not find in twenty other girls." 

" But that's because you don't believe he has any strong feelings 
at all," Mary said reproachfully. "You do him wrong, Minola. 
You don't mean it, I know ; but you do him wrong. He has strong 
feelings, indeed he has. Don't you think /know?" 

Minola might, perhaps, with truth have said that she had no 
profound reliance on Mary's power of reading character even in the 
case of her brother ; but she did not touch that point. 

" I am sure he has strong feelings, Mary ; I am sure of it now, 
I didn't think so once, perhaps — you are quite right in that — but I 
am sure now that I was mistaken. I have a great regard for your 
brother ; much too great a regard," she added, with a certain bitter- 
ness in her tone, " to believe he could waste much of his life in idle 
regret because a girl like me did not marry him." 

" It's all very well for you, Minola," Mary said, raising her head 
and throwing something like downright anger into her voice ; " it's 
all very well for you, who don't have any of these feelings. You 
don't care for anyone — in that way, I mean. You don't care for 
any man. Other people can't have such strong feelings." 

Minola broke down. Why she did so, only the benign powers 
that understand human and especially womanly weaknesses can 
tell ; certainly Minola never could explain. She had gone through 
ordeals, one might have thought, far worse than this, and kept a 
serene face and her secret safe. But there was something in this 
unjust reproach coming from the poor old friend whom she had known 
so long, and for whom she had persistently done so much, that quite 
overcame her. The words found out the very heart of her woman- 
hood and her weakness ; the place where her emotions had no steel 
plates of caution ready put on to protect them. Half in tears, half 
in hysterical laughter, she broke away from Mary. 

" Oh, you unjust, silly, fooHsh old Mary ! It's not true a word 
that you are saying. I am as great a fool as he, and as you, and as 
all the rest, I suppose I Don't I know what such feelings are ! Oh, 
how I wish I didn't ! " 

Mary looked up in utter amazement 

« Why, Minola darling, it can't be " 

Miss Misanthrope. 277 

" But I tell you it can be and it is, Mary — and now do let me 
alone for the future. Oh, yes, I am in love — up to the roots of my 
hair, dear, if you like the words — I can't think of any other. There, 
I have made a fool of myself and humbled myself enough for one 
day, I think ! Now go and see your brother, like a good, dear 
creature, and leave me to myself for a little. Don't ask me to tell you* 
any more ; if I ever do tell you any more, it shan't be now. I hate 
and despise myself for all this ; but it's true, Mary, as true as death, 
or any other certain thing you like." 

Then Minola turned away, and resolutely sat down to the piano 
and began to play. Mary knew that there was nothing more to be 
got out of her just then ; and, indeed, she was too much overwhelmed 
by what she had heard to have any clear purpose of extorting more. 
She made her preparations to go out in silence ; but the very manner 
in which she tied her bonnet-strings gave expression, somehow, to z. 
sound of wonder. She went out with no other good-bye to Minola 
than was conveyed by a gentle pressure on her shoulder as she 
passed, meant to express all a world of renewed sympathy, fellow- 
ship, and devotion. 

It could hardly be said that Mary had yet had breathing-time 
enough to allow her to begin forming any conjecture as to the 
person who must needs be involved in Minola's bewildering confi- 
dence. The revelation itself filled her mind for a while, to the 
exclusion of all other thought. But, as she was going along the 
street, she saw coming towards her a figure which, even with her 
short sight, she thought she recognised. It was that of a man taller 
than anyone else she knew, even than her brother, and who had 
stooping shoulders and a walk of lounging complacency — a walk as 
of one who rather fancied that all the street belonged to him. When 
this person came near he raised his hat and made a bow of recogni- 
tion to Mary, and then the poetess saw that she was not wrong in 
supposing that it was Mr. St. Paul. He was evidently going* in the 
direction of Minola's lodgings. A sudden thought flashed upon 
Mary Blanchet's mind. 

" Can it be he ? " she thought. " I should never have supposed 
such a thing. But he was very attentive to her, certainly ; and of 
course he is a man of high family — not like poor Herbert. But I 
never should have thought of him." 

While Mary went her melancholy and meditative way, Mr. St. 
Paul arrived at Minola's door, and asked to see her, adding that he 
came to take leave, and would not keep her long. The servants at 
Minola's lodgings had an immense awe and veneration for Mr. St. 

278 Tlie Gentleman^ s Magazine. 

Paul. When he called there once before and saw Minola, on the day 
of the unholy compact, Mary, having heard of the visit, could not keep 
down the pride of her heart, but let out the fact that he was a duke's 
brother. In that quiet region the brothers of dukes are rare visitors, 
and it was not likely that the face and form of this one could have 
been forgotten. Therefore, even if Minola had taken the precaution 
to say that she would see no one that day, it is very doubtful whether 
the servants would have understood this general order to apply to 
a duke's brother. Anyhow, it was intimated to Minola, in tones of 
some awe, that the gentleman who was a duke's brother wanted very 
particularly to see her. 

Minola was not in spirits for enjoying the visits of dukes, not to 
say of the brothers of dukes. But she felt that she really owed some 
thanks to Mr. St. Paul ; and she had never seen him since the night 
of the Keeton riot; and if he was really going away, she did not wish 
him to go without a word of thanks from her. It may be said, too, 
that, in spite of all his defects and his odd ways, Minola rather liked 
him. There was a sort of reckless honesty about him ; and his talk 
was not commonplace. So she agreed to see him, not without a 
dread that there might still be traces of the tears which had lately 
been in her eyes. " What does it matter," she asked of herself in 
scorn of her own weaknesses, " even if he does see ? I suppose he 
knows very well that women are always in tears about something." 

"Well, Miss Grey," he said as he came in — and he seemed 
positively to grow taller in the gathering dusk, like the genie in the 
story of Bedreddin Hassan — " I haven't seen you since the night of 
the row at Keeton. Wasn't it capital fun ? The poet ran away, I 
hear; they say he never stopped until he reached London." Mr. St. 
Paul laughed his usual good-humoured laugh, and he held, as if un- 
consciously, Minola's hand a moment in his own. His manner was 
never a love-making one, and Minola hardly noticed this slight 

" Oh, there was no truth in all that!" she said hastily and not with- 
out a half-smile. " Mr. Blanchetdid nothing of the kind; although, 
like me, he does not like noisy crowds." 

" Well, I kept my word, you see, Miss Grey. I sent your man 
in, in spite of them all." 

" You did indeed ; and I ought to feel very much obliged to you, 
and I do feel obliged, Mr. St. Paul ; although my conscience is still 
sadly distressed to know if I did anything very wrong in allowing you 
to do anything of the kind." 

" Don't you mind that ; it's all right ; it was a much more 

Miss Misanthrope. 279 

honest trick than half the dodges by which elections are won, I can 
assure you. There are always wheels within wheels in these affairs, 
you know. You were in your rightful place too ; in all these things 
there is sure to be a petticoat at the bottom. It might as well be 
you as anyone else — as my sister-in-law, for instance." 

" And you are going away, Mr. St. Paul ? " 

" I think so ; yes. If things don't turn out as I want them to, I 
shall go away again, I think. I don't see what I want here ; I have 
done my duty as a brother, you know, and kept old Sheppard, my 
brother's man, out of Keeton." 

" Are you going back to America ? " 

" In the end, yes ; I suppose so. But not just for the present. 
I feel inclined to take a run through Thibet. I am told by some 
fellows that the yak is the most extraordinary creature ; and the 
place hasn't been used up. You see, Miss Grey, I have enough of 
money one way and another ; and I am inclined to consult my own 
whims now a little. Come, what are you smiling at? " 

" I don't feel inclined to explain, Mr. St. Paul." 

" I'll do it for you — you smile because you think I never did con- 
sult any whims but my own ; is not that it ? " 

" Yes; if I must give an answer, that was it." 

** Of course; I knew it. What I meant was that I don't intend to 
bother any more just now about the making of money. But I do 
particularly want to be allowed to consult the whims of some one 
besides myself." 

" Indeed ? " 

" You say that satirically, I know. You don't think much of us 
men, it seems ; at least, you say you don't." 

" Do you, Mr. St. Paul ? " 

" Do i what?" 

" Think much of men ? " 

" Oh, no, by Jove ! If you come to that, I never said I did, noi 
women either. But we all like to believe, I suppose, that you 
women think us fine fellows and greatly admire us — that is, when you 
are young. Anyhow, I don't mean to discuss the defects of the 
human race with you just now. Miss Grey. I have come for a 
different purpose. But won't you sit down?" 

She had not asked him to be seated ; and it seemed like a mild 
rebuke of her lack of hospitality when Mr. St. Paul now handed her 
a chair. But he had no such meaning. He was positively a little 
embarrassed, and did not well know for a moment how to get on. 
Even Minola noticed the fact, and made a good-natured attempt to 

28o The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

help him out of his difficulty, greatly amazed to find that he could 
have any hesitation about anything. 

" You were saying that you want to consult somebody's whims, 
Mr. St. Paul ? " 

" Yes, so I was ; that's what I have come about. I should like 
to be allowed to consult your whims. Miss Grey." 

" That's very kind; but I don't know that I have any whim just 
at present. When there is another election coming off somewhere, 
then, indeed " 

St. Paul laughed. He was holding a chair. He turned it and 
balanced it on two of its legs, and then leaned on the top of it with 
both his hands in such a way that Minola began to be afraid it 
would give way under his bulky pressure and send him prostrate at 
her feet. The odd attitude seemed, however, to give him a little more 

" Look here. Miss Grey; let's come to the point. Will you marry 

He now let go the chair and stood upright, looking straight at 
her, or rather, down upon her. 

Minola felt her breath taken away. She actually started. 

** That's what I am here for. Miss Grey. To come to the point 
at once, will you marr}' me ? " 

" To come to the point at once, Mr. St. Paul, I will not." 

" Why not ? " He put his hands into his pockets, and coolly 
waited for an answer. 

" But there are so many reasons " 

" All right ; tell me some of them." 

" But really I don't know where to begin." 

" Well, just think it over ; I can wait. May I take a seat? " 

" Oh, yes ; pray be seated." 

He sat quietly near her. His manner was now once more per- 
fectly assured, but, with all his odd roughness, perfectly respectful. 

" Now we can talk the matter regularly out, like sensible people," 
he said. 

The situation was new, to say the least of it. Minola began to 
be a little amused now that she had recovered from the first shock of 
her embarrassment ; and she saw that with such a wooer it would be 
far the wisest policy to talk the matter out as he had proposed. So 
she began to rack her brain, not for reasons against accepting the 
proposal, but for the reason which ought properly to come first. 

"To begin with, Mr. St. Paul, I am not sure that you are in 
earnest in such an offer." 

Miss Misanthrope. 281 

" Oh, if that's all, I can easily reassure you. I am confoundedly 
in earnest, Miss Grey ! As you say, I have generally been in the 
habit of pleasing myself more than other people ; and the truth is, 
that nothing on earth would please me now half so much as for you 
to take me as I offer myself. But I think I shouldn't make half a 
bad husband, after all ; and honestly, do you know, I don't believe 
you would be sorry in the end? " 

"But why do you want to marry me? why not some other 
woman ? why not some one in your own class? " 

"My class? Fiddle-de-dee! what's my class? I am a cattle 
grower from Texas ; I am a land speculator from California. If I had 
been depending on what you call my class, I shouldn't have enough 
now to give a girl bread and cheese, to say nothing of her milliner's bill 
I have plenty of money, thanks to myself. I'm the son of my own 
works ; I'm the son of Marengo, as what's-his-name — Napoleon — 

" But there are so many women whom you must have met and 
who would be suited to you so much better " 

" Look here. Miss Grey ; cut that ! You are the only girl I ever 
saw — I mean, of course, since I was a boy — that I care a red cent 
for. There's something about you that other girls don't have. You 
have no nonsense in you, not a bit ! A man need not feel ashamed of 
caring about you or trying to please you. I saw that long ago; you 
are a woman to do a man some good. You are not spoiled by 
society, and all that rot. I suppose you never were in society — ^what 
they call society — in your life ? " 

" No, Mr. St. Paul ; I never was. I never was in any house in 
Ix)ndon but Mr. Money's ; I suppose that isn't society ? " 

" Well, there it is, you see. I like a girl who is not just the same 
pattern as every other girl. Look here ! I don't say that I am 
madly in love with you in that sentimental way ; I suppose that sort 
of thing does not last at my time of life with a man who has knocked 
about the world as I have ; but I do say that you are the pleasantest 
woman I know, and the cleverest, and I'm sure the best ; and you 
are the only woman I would marry." 

" But I am afraid, Mr. St. Paul, that we like to be loved in that 
sentimental way, we foolish girls. I don't think I could be quite 
pleased with anything else ; and I am glad you are so candid as to 
tell me the whole truth." Minola now thought she saw a way of 
getting good-humouredly out of the affair without seeming to take it 
too seriously. 

" Not a bit of it ; you are not that sort ; you have too much 

282 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

sense for nonsense like that Why, just listen. I was sentimentally 
in love before I was quite twenty years old — I wonder, what age were 
you then ? — and I was wild to be allowed to marry a poor girl the 
daughter of the fellow who taught me French. Didn't I get into a 
nice row at home ? and the poor girl, they hunted her out of the 
place — my people did — as if she and her old father had been mad 
dogs. I dare say my people were right enough in opposing such a 
marriage ; I dare say I should have been tired of her long ago ; but 
if you want sentimental love and so forth, that was my time for it, 
and that was what it all came to." 

" You are glad now you did not marry her," Minola said ; " you 
will be glad some time that you did not marry me. I will be gene- 
rous to you, Mr. St. Paul ; I will not take you at your word." 

" No, no ! that^s all nonsense ; you don't understand. I only 
told you about that to show you how that sort of sentimental love is 
nothing at all. I know what I am about now ; I know my own 
mind; it would be time for me, by Jove ! Yes; I know my own mind." 

" So do I ; and I can't accept your offer, Mr. St. Paul." 

" But you have not told me a single reason yet " 

" I don't want to marry ; I had much rather remain as I am. I 
am not a great admirer of men in general, and I think I am more 
likely to be happy living as I do " 

"If you marry me," he said, "you may live in any part of the 
world you like, and any street you like, and any way you like." 

Minola smiled. " How happily you would pass your life," she 
said, "living in the west centre of London with me and Mary 
Blanchet ! " 

" Well, if the wandering fit came on me, and I wanted a rush half 
across the world, and you did not care to come too, you might please 
yourself, and remain here with old Mary until I came back. I rather 
like old Mary ; I met her a few moments ago." 

" I fear it would not do, Mr. St. Paul." 

" You bet it would — I mean, I am quite sure you and I could hit 
it off admirably, if you'll only give us the chance and let us try." 

" But if we tried it, and did not hit it off, what then ?" 

" I know we should; I know it. And do you know, Miss Grey, 
I have often thought that you rather liked me — I don't mean the 
sentimental falling in love, and all that : you are too sensible a girl 
for that ; and I'm not exactly the sort of fellow to make a woman 
feel in that way — but I often thought that you rather liked me, and 
liked to talk to me, and did not look at me with horror as if I were a 
sort of outcast, don't you know ? " 

Miss Misanthrope. 283 

Minola saw the great virtue of being frank and outspoken with 
this strange lover. 

" You are quite right, Mr. St. Paul ; I did rather like you, and I 
do still. I did like to talk with you, and I did not feel any particular 
alarm when you were good enough to talk to me. I fancied that 
you liked to talk to me " 

" You couldn't well avoid thinking that," he said with a smile; 
" for whenever I saw yoii in the comer of a room I made for you at 
once. I liked you from the first moment I saw you. Do you re- 
member the day I first saw you ? " 

" Oh, yes, Mr. St Paul ; perfectly well." 

"Come, then; tell me something about it" 

" It was at Mrs. Money's one day. I was there in the drawing- 
room, and you came in with Mr. Money. It is not so long ago that 
I should forget it" Minola had other memories, too, connected with 
the day which she did not disclose to Mr. St Paul, but which brought 
a faint colour into her cheeks. 

" Yes, yes ; that was the day. I had seen one of old Money's 
daughters — the younger one, the girl that is going to be married to that 
young fool Heron — and when I came into the drawing-room I 
thought you were the other daughter ; and I said to m3rself that, by 
Jove, Money's elder daughter was worth a dozen of the other, and 
that I shouldn't be half sorry if she would marry me. I hadn't 
spoken a word to you then. So, you see, it is not an idea taken up 
on the spur of the moment" 

" I am greatly obliged to you, Mr. St. Paul " 

He made a deprecating gesture. Minola went on: 

" And I do feel indeed that you have paid me a compliment, and 
done me an honour. But will you take me at my word, and believe 
that indeed, indeed, I never could accept your offer? It is out o: 
the question. Mr. St Paul — I may speak out with you ? — if I wen 
in love with you, I would not marry you " 

" Why not ? " he asked almost vehemently, as he confronted hex 

" Well, because we are not the sort of people to be married ; ve 
have such different ways, and such different friends ^" 

" By the way," he struck in, "that reminds me — your speakiig 
about friends — of something I wanted to say; I am glad I have 
thought of it before you made up your mind. It's this — I hear you 
have money, or houses, or something of that kind. Well, don't you 
see, if you marry me, you can give it all, whatever it is, to old Mary 
what's-her-name. I don't want a dollar of it ; I have plenty : so just 
take that into account before you decide." 

284 The GenHemafC s Magazine. 

" Thank you, Mr. St Paul. I should have expected some gene- 
rosity from you " 

" It isn't every fellow would do it, take my word for that" 

" No, I suppose not ; if I gave anyone the chance. But I don't 
mean to do so, Mr. St Paul. If I wished to marry I don't really 
know that I should refuse your offer. I am sure you would be more 
generous than most men, and I do like you; but, indeed, the thing is 
out of the question. We have no tastes or habits in common ; and 
you would be tired of me very soon." 

" Not a bit of it ; we have tastes in common. I don't know any 
woman who can understand a joke so well as you can ; and you 
don't always suppose everybody is in earnest, as women generally do. 
Most women are so dreadfully serious — don't you know ? — that I 
find it a trial to talk to them. You are not like that" 

" No," said Minola quietly ; " I don't insist on people always 
being in earnest ; and so I shan't treat you as if you were in earnest 


" But I am in earnest ; and I tell you what, Miss Grey, you must 
be in earnest too. I must have a serious, deliberate answer from 
you. I tell you on my honour, and on my oath, if you will allow 
me, that you are the only girl in the world I would marry ; and I 
must be treated like a man in earnest, and have a serious answer." 

" I have given you my answer already, Mr. St Paul. I can't say 
anything more." 

" Then you won't have me ?" he asked, taking his hat from the 
table on which he had laid it. 

" No, Mr. St. Paul." 

" And this is quite serious and for the very last time ? — as the 
children say ; " and he held out one hand towards her. 

She put her hand frankly into his. 

" It is quite serious and for the very very last time." 

She felt a strong grip on her hand, so strong that it hurt her keenly 
lor the moment. But she did not wince or make any attempt to 
^raw the hand away. He released it in an instant 

" Well, I'm sorry," he said, " and that's all about it. I had hopes 
tlat I might have persuaded you, don't you know ? — not that I 
thought a fine girl like you was likely to be in love with a fellow like 
me ; but that I fancied you could do with me, on the whole, better 
thai with some others. You see, I was not too self-conceited in the 
matter. Miss Grey. Well, that's all over, and there's an end of it 
Good-bye ; I dare say I shan't see you soon again. I shall be off 

Mtss Misanthrope. 285 

for another run round the world. On the whole, I don't see anything 
better to do just now." 

He was going. 

" I am sorry if I have disappointed you ; I am indeed," she said, 
and held out her hand to him again. 

The bold blue eyes showed a gleam of a softer light in them. 

" Oh, never mind about me, Miss Grey ; I shall come all right, 
you needn't fear. I told you, you know, that I had outlived the age 
when men break their hearts; and, by Jove, a year ago I should 
have said I had outlived the age when I could ask any woman on 
earth to marry me. But I'll come all right ; and I forgive you," he 
added with a laugh ; '' although at my time of life we don't like to 
make fools of ourselves before women. Good-bye. If you are in 
London when I come here next, I'll look you up ; and if you want 

anything done then in the electioneering way, I'm your man 

Hullo ! here's old Mary back ; I saw her passing the window. Grood 
morning, Miss Grey ; good morning." 

He nodded in his old, familiar, easy way, and was out of the room 
somehow before Mary Blanchet got into it. Minola hardly saw how 
he got away. There was an odd moisture in her eyes and a swim- 
ming in her head which made it hard for her all at once to fall into 
talk with little Mary. 

(To be continued^ 

286 The Gentleman's Magazine. 


THE Basques are an ancient people, the remnant of a race once 
much more widely spread. They have some strongly marked 
characteristics of their own ; and a singular language, which attracts 
by the mystery surrounding it — as the Celtic so long attracted — the 
speculations of the curious, and which still, most people think, awaits 
some Latin Zeuss to untie its knot The traditions of such a race 
might be expected to have features of peculiar interest : " here," a 
recent \NTiter (Mr. Webster') remarks, " there is a chance of finding 
legends in a purer and older form than among any other European 
people." If we except some legends published by Francisque Michel, 
almost nothing seems to have been known of Basque traditions 
previous to the publication in 1875-76 of M. Cerquand's Lcgmdes et 
Recits Popiilaircs du Pays Basque — a work which that writer is now 
about to supplement by another of like character. The new collection 
in English, from which we have just quoted, seems to us to have con- 
siderable value on several accounts, as widening the field of comparison 
in this kind of literature ; as showing what sort of legends are current 
in Biscay : and still more for what may be called its negative evidence, 
as indicating to a certain extent what is not to be found in the tradition 
of a people which scholars generally agree to exclude from the family 
of nations known as Aryan. Some of the stories also offer mytho- 
logical fragments, and examples of superstitious beliefs, of greater or 
less value. Yet, after saying so much, one must add that the tales 
hardly possess the interest and novelty that might have been expected 
from such a source. Instead of new traditions differing widely from 
those of the rest of Europe, the great proportion turn out to be very 
familiar stories, appearing in one form or other in all the well-known 
European collections. Some, we shall presently see, are borrowed 
from the French, and even from the fanciful later Contes des F^es, in 
which old simple legends appear in masquerade. Others, as in the 
section of Mr. Webster's book headed the Heren-Suge, or seven- 
headed serpent, do wear some native features, but vague and ill- 

* Basque Legends, Collected, chiefly in the Labourd, by the Rev. W. Webster. 
London, 1877. 

Basque afid Other Legends. 287 

defined. Lastly, the stories, as stories, lose much (though of course 
the bulk of the work is conveniently reduced) by being mostly presented 
in an extremely syncopated form. They are often mere pale outlines of 
popular tales, while the best of them is a great drop from such nana- 
tives as, say, Croker*s Legend of Bottle Hill, or some of the Norse 
tales translated by Dr. Dasent 

We may pass on to say a word or two on a few of the more inter- 
esting of the legends themselves. The antiquity and the curious 
migrations of popular tales are illustrated here, as in all similar col- 
lections. One finds stories about destiny which have all but certainly 
travelled to Biscay from the banks of the Ganges or Indus ; " Juan 
Dekos " is, if we adopt the editor's ingenious conjecture, a Basque 
transformation of Jean d'Ecosse, a tale which he considers to have 
travelled to Biscay from these Islands, by way of France ; in another 
place occurs the ancient Cinderella story, told by Strabo of Queen 
Rhodopis of Egypt. The Basque version bears about it many tokens of 
its French origin, especially in the heroine's names, Ass's-skin and Braf- 
le-mandoufle. The former is of course a translation of Peau-d'-Ane, 
which seems to designate one and the same personage with Cendrillon ; 
and " Braf-le-mandoufle " is explained to mean " Beaten-with-the- 
slipper," the last part of the compound being corrupted from Pan* 
ioufle, Charles Perrault's " pantoufle de verre " is by some supposed . 
to be itself a corruption of "pantoufle de vair'' — so that the slipper 
would not be glass at all, but vair or squirrel fur, once much worn, 
but now familiar chiefly as an heraldic charge. However this may 
be, popular tradition does, no doubt, often strangely alter names, 
especially proper names, and confound distinct personages and in- 
cidents. For example, Gregorius on the Rock, whose history was a 
favourite mediaeval tale, becomes the " Crivoliu " of the 85 th of the 
Signora Laura Gonzenbach's Sicilian Legends ; and the honest 
Romans of the Borgo or Trastevere talk of Bernini's elephant in the 
Piazza della Minerva, which they confound with the Wolf of the 
Capitol, as " the porco that nursed the two little emperors." ^ The 
same people, who yet retain a veneration for the Latin language, and 
in many cases would seem to suppose themselves to understand it, 
say about some very obscure matter, " It is more difficult than the 

' The saying, however, perhaps indicates the existence of a (iouble legend of 
the foundation of Rome, a swine playing in one account the part of the wolf in 
the other. A boar or swine figures in the legendary accounts of the foundation of 
more cities than one — as in the story of the origin of Vinmum, in Noricum, given 
by Suidas. See an article of unusual value and interest on Bel^s Sonnets in t\e 
Roman Dialect in the Fortnightly Review for 1874. 

288 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

head of David with the SibyL" Here the allusion is to the opening 
verse of the Dies Ira, That remarkable hymn begins, 

Dies irae, dies ilia, 
Solvet sxclum in fa villa, 
Teste David cum Sibylla. 

The day of wrath, that dreadful day, 

ShalT^he world in ashes lay, 

As David and the Sibyls say 

as Roscommon translated it. But teste (a witness) seems to the 
Trasteverini to be plainly one word with testa^ and hence theiTv, 
not unnatural bewilderment at this reference to the Psalmist's head. 
We may add one other noteworthy instance in which, as in the 
Basque Cinderella tale, we may clearly trace the history of tradition 
by the internal evidence it presents. Most people have heard of 
that famous Teutonic joker, Eulenspiegel, Tyll Howleglass, whose 
once nimble bones, as Mr. Carlyle called them, are said to have lain 
at rest in Mollen churchyard, near Lubeck, since the year 1350. 
One would hardly expect to find Tyll turning up in Ireland ; yet the 
present writer has found pretty clear traces of him in the traditions 
of the county of Limerick, where he figures as one Ulas, whose 
Confession — like that of his prototype — is yet a favourite tale ; and 
forty years ago Mr. Thoms pointed out that the same waggish 
knave was the original of the Old Espeel of other traditions current 
in the same neighbourhood. The explanation is however not far to 
seek ; for these tales circulate in a part of Ireland where a number of 
German settlers from the Palatinate were imported, who, as com- 
monly happens in such cases, brought their native traditions with 
them. According to one of the tales of these " Palatines " given by 
Mr. Thoms, there was once a man who was married to a woman 
whom he suspected of being a witch. Determined to satisfy his 
mind on the point, he began counting all his money before her, and 
in answer to her enquiry as to what he meant to do with so much 
money, he said that he had long wished to turn sorcerer, and 
was about to pay old Nanny Brethow to teach him. His spouse 
replied that he might save his purse, since she could instruct him as 
well as old Nanny. At midnight she bade him follow her into the 
garden. They stood opposite to each other, his left leg touching 
hers, and the wife, who had the pitchfork in her left hand, held it aloft 
and said, " I deny all things holy, and what is before me I strike." 
With these words she struck the fork into the ground. She then 
handed it to her husband, and bade him do just what she had done. 
" Am I to say the same words ? " he asked. " Yes, the very same." 

Basque and Other Legends. 289 

He held up the fork, and exclaiming, ^'I acknowledge all things 
holy, and what is before me I strike," he stuck the fork into her head, 
and killed her.* Now, this very tale is told in the Odenwald of Hesse 
yet. It was, however, to the midden that the witch brought her 
husband, and she said, 

** Here stand I this midden on, 
And Jesus Christ I do disown" 

" And I strike dead the DeviPs own " 

said he, striking her down at the impious words,* never to rise again. 

We need not dwell on such Basque tales as " The Serpent in the 

Wood," which is but a truncated version of the Agenaise Peau-4'-Ane, 

as given by M. Bladd in his Contes Populaires recueillis en Agenais^ 

published two years ago ; or " Emia the Madman," which appears in 

Grimm (The Giant and the Brave Little Tailor) and in many a 

collection beside. So in the story of " The Tartaro and Petit Perro- 

quet " we have the giant crying out, " My son smells the smell of a 

Christian a league off," as in the familiar English nursery story. The 

incident is also found in Irish, Russian, and Saxon popular tales. " Ich 

rieche Menschenfleisch ! " the Devil cries out, in one of the Austrian 

Kinder- und Hausmdrchen^ published at Vienna in 1864 by Ver- 

naleken, who notes that there was an ancient pagan belief as to the 

smell of human flesh. The name Petit Perroquet, and the Petit 

Yorge (George) of a legend immediately following, sufficiently mark 

the French origin of these two stories. In "Acheria the Fox," 

Reynard promises to tell a Biscayan ferryman three truths if he will 

ferry him over the river. The man agrees, and the fox solemnly says, 

" People say that maize bread is as good as wheaten bread. That is 

a falsehood. Wheaten bread is better. That is one truth." The 

second truth was that the day is clearer ihan the night ; though on a 

bright night people will say, It is just as clear as the day. He told 

the third truth as the boat was nearing the bank. The ferryman's 

trowsers, the fox said, were bad, but they would get worse unless he 

got more from others than he intended to give him. So saying, he 

sprang ashore. It is probable that Oriental beards have been set 

a-wagging by this apologue also. It occurs in the Greek spiritual 

romance of Barlaam and Josaphat, written by Saint John Damascenus 

* Lays and Legends of Various Nations: Ireland, By William J. Thorns. 
London, 1834. 

' ** Ich stehe hier auf dicsem Mist, 

Und verlaugne unsem Herm Jesus Christ" 
— -" Und ich schlag' todt was des Teufels ist" 
--Hessische Sagen. By J. W. Wolf. Gottingai and Leipzig, 1853, No. 105. 
VOL. CCXLI. NO, 1 761. U 

290 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

in the eighth century, and appears in many well-known European 
collections of later date. It is usually however a nightingale, or 
some other bird, which bargains to impart the secrets as the price of 
its release. Lydgate gives an English version of the tale, under the 
title of The Chorle and the Byrd. 

Mr. Webster has six tales about the Basa-Jaun, the Basa- Andre, 
and the Laminak, three kinds of beings who often figure in Basque 
stories, but about whom the information is scanty and vague. The 
first is " a kind of satyr, or faun, a wood-sprite," and the Basa- Andre 
is a Wood- Woman. There is a valuable study of the kindred Forest- 
Spirits of the North- European peoples in two recent German volumes,* 
and by the light afforded by them we may safely recognise in the Basa- 
Jaun one of the Tree-Men or Wild-Men of various old mythologies. 
The Basa-Andre is his wife ; and in lonely mountain districts she is 
occasionally seen by the wondering countryman combing out her 
hair with a comb of gold. She would thus appear to be sometimes 
confounded with the Mermaid, and, in point of fact, there are legends 
of the sea-women of other countries in which those beings play a 
part in some cases taken by the women of the forest. Such are the 
stories where the Mermaid appears as revealing some medicinal 
secret to men. The Meddygon Myddvai, renowned in Welsh 
popular tradition, learned their leechcraft of their mermaid mother; 
and the Scottish Mermaid told a cure for consumption in the words. 

Wad they but drink nettles in March 

And muggins' in May, 
Sae mony braw maidens 

Wadna gang tiU clay. 

Now, in many German legends it is the Tree-Woman who freely 
communicates, or is ensnared into telling, the remedy against some 
disease. Once in time of pestilence the Holzfraiilcin came out of the 
forest and said, 

Esst Bimellen und Baldrian, 
So geht euch die Pest nicht an. 

Valerian eat and bumet-root ; 

So shall the sickness reach you not. 

The Tree-Dwarf in the Grisons however was of a less communi- 
cative nature. When the plague was raging there, and sweeping off the 
population in great numbers, it was noted that no Tree-Women or 
Tree-Mannikins died, and the country people came to the conclusion 
that the Wild-People must know a remedy. This a man resolved to 

» Ancient Forest and Field Worships Ulustrakd from North- European Tradi- 
tions. By Wilhelm Mannhardt. Berlin, 1875-77. 
' Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris. 

Basque and Other Legends. 291 

learn by a trick from a Tree-Dwarf whom he well knew to daily 
repair to a certain hollow stone, displaying his hairy ugliness in the 
sunshine. Filling the hollow with good Valtellina wine, the country- 
man drew to a distance and hid himself. He had not waited long 
when he saw the little Wild Man come up to the favourite spot. He 
showed the greatest tokens of astonishment when he found the stone 
filled with a strange sparkling stuff; looked at it long with his head 
on one side, and finally raised his fore finger and cried, " No, you 
overreach not me!" (Nein, du iiherkommst mich nicht). For all 
that, he bent his pug nose over the wine, and at last tasted it The 
end of it was that he drained all the liquor in the hollow of ^he stone, 
and gradually got mellow and talkative. When he b^an to chatter, 
out came the countryman from his hiding-place, and asked what was 
good against the plague. "I know it well," the Mannikin'said, 
" Boar-wort * and Pimpernel ; but," he added knowingly, " I'm not 
going to tell it you." People after this began to use the boar-wort 
and the bumet, and nobody else died of the pestilence. It is easier 
to understand why the Tree-People should have the knowledge 
of the virtues of pfeint and tree than why such knowledge should be 
attributed to the Mermaid. 

The Basque Lamiiiak are connected by Mr. Webster, and by some 
of his reviewers, with the " Fairies." But the latter vague euphuism, 
which would seem to have primarily been used for the Spirits of the 
Dead, covers various kinds of spiritual beings in modem popular 
belief — water-spirits, forest-spirits, fire-demons, and many more. To 
ourselves it seems probable that the Laminak, whose dwellings are 
subterranean, and who appear of diminutive size, and as the possessors 
of hidden treasure, answer to the German earth-dwarfs and the Irish 
Lugchorpdin^ now Luprachiin, literally " Little-bodies." 

The Biscayan story of " The Pretty but Idle Girl," which turns 
on the heroine's remembering a witch's name, is a distorted version 
of Grimm's " Rumpelstilzchen " and Chambers's Whuppity Stoorie: — 

Little kens my dame at hame 
That Whuppity Stoorie is my name. 

The present writer has heard the same tale, or part of it, in Donegal, 
where a woman spinning within a rock is overheard crooning to her- 
self, " The woman of the house little knows that my name's Triiipaigh- 
Traipigh." There is a tradition more ancient in form of King Olaf 
of Norway and the Giant, where the latter personage replaces the 
witch of the other stories. He had built a wonderful church for Olaf, 
but the condition was that he should have for payment the sun and 

> Either southernwood or carline thistle. 


292 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

moon, or the King himself; and the monarch, as the time drew near 
for the completion of the contract, was greatly troubled in mind. 
Wandering disconsolate over hill and dale, he suddenly heard a child 
crying within a hill, and a giantess soothing it with the words, Hush ! 
Hush ! To-morrow Wind-and- Weather, your father, will come home, 
and bring with him the sun and the moon, or St. Olaf himself. 
" Delighted with this discovery (for with the name of the evil spirit one 
can destroy his power), Olaf turned and went home. The work was 
finished, even to the point of the spire. Then said Olaf, * Wind-and- 
Weather ! you have set the spire awry.' At the word, down fell the 
giant with a horrible crash from the roof-ridge of the church, and broke 
into a great many pieces, and every piece a flint stone." ^ Here the 
name of the giant plainly shows his elemental character ; and Whup- 
pity Stoorie, too, may have been originally but a personification of 
wind and storm, for Chambers sagaciously conjectured that the name 
is connected with " the notion that fairies were always in the whirls 
of dust [stoor] occasioned by the wind on roads and in streets." ^ 

These are but two out of many instances in which evidence of the 
original mythological basis of popular tales survives in the names 
which occur in them. A Tyrolese farmer was once coming home 
from Imster market over the Pillerberg. He had got into the Bann 
wald, when, as he plodded along, the yoke of the oxen which he had 
sold hanging over his shoulder, he heard on a sudden some loud, 
strange voice from the midst of the forest crying out, " Yoke-carrier, 
Yoke-carrier, say to Stumpycat that Highbark is dead ! " Then all 
was still again. Greatly alarmed, the man hurried on, and on at 
length reaching his own house he told his strange adventure to his 
wife and the servant maid who sat opposite. When he got to the 
words, " Sag der Stutzkatze die Hochrinde sei todt," up leaped the 
maid, screaming " My mother ! My mother ! " and mshed out into 
the forest She was not seen after ; but the news soon spread that 
Stutzkatze had now taken up her abode in the Bannwald, and was 
sedulously following the business of her late mother, stealing children 
and devouring them. This is a typical example of a numerous class 
of legends in most of which the dramatis personce are cats : — 

Johnny Reed ! Johnny Reed ! 
Tell Madam Momfort 
That Mally Dixon's dead 

is the message in a well-known English nursery tale. There seems 

» Cited by Kelly from Grimm. Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and 
Folk- Lore (London, 1863), pp. 26-28. 

* Popular Rhymes of Scotland (edition of 1870), p. 74, note. 

Basque and bther Legends. 293 

to be little doubt that Mannhardt's interpretation of these stories — 
which is mainly based on the character of the names in them — ^is 
correct ; and that, in many cases at least, they originally related to 
Tree-spirits. Alpenburg, who gives the Tyrolese tale narrated above, 
has another, which, if authentic, goes far to establish this conclusion. 
Two men, whose business led them through the skirts of the ancient 
haunted forest of Urgenthal, wherein some trees had lately been felled^ 
heard from a thicket an imperious voice, " Tell Stumpyfir that Rough- 
bark is felled and dead." They told what they heard to a certain 
farmer, who, as it happened, had once found in the wood a little 
female child, its body all covered from head to foot with hair, had 
brought it home, and had afterwards made of the young Wood- 
Woman a servant, the best in the forest. This girl heard in the next 
room the words of the two men, fell at once to loudly lamenting, 
rushed out into the wild, and never was seen again. 

There is a Basque story in which a poor fellow accepts wealth on 
condition of his telling the age of the Devil by a certain day. By 
his wife's advice the man crawls first into a barrel of honey and then 
into a barrel of feathers, and when the Devil appears he goes round 
him on all fours. The astonished demon cries that he is now such 
and such an age, but he never saw a beast like this before. There is 
a well-known Irish story related to this, where, however, a wizened 
changeling in the place of a cottager's healthy child is astonished by 
the brewing of beer from eggshells : — 

Though I am as old as the oldest tree, 

A brewery of eggshells I never before did see. 

When Wuotan's Wild Host, also, leaves one of the hounds behind, 
an unwelcome guest in some German cottage, it can only be got rid 
of by the same brew. It watches it intently, and muttering at last, 

Though now. I am as old as the old Bohemian wold, 
Yet the like of this, I ween, in my life I ne'er have seen, 

it shuffles out of the door. Mr. Webster's book includes another 
tale, " The Witches at the Sabbat," in part of which may be made 
out the old story of the Two Hunchbacks, one of whom obliges the 
Good People, and is by them cured of his deformity, while the other, 
having the ill-luck to offend them, gets his friend's hump in addition 
to his own. The legend occurs in many parts of Western Europe,* 
and, what is stranger, it may be recognised in one of Mr. Mitford's 

* A Picard version is to be found in Milusine (an excellent new French periodical 
devoted to folk-lore) for March 5. 

294 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

" Tales of Old Japan," where, however, wens take the place of the 
humps. " Laur-Cantons " is a Basque variation of the old tale, the 
basis of Shakespeare's Cymbeline^ and occurring also in the Deca- 
meron, of a husband who loses a foolish wager, and turns away his 
wife through an adroit knave getting possession of her trinkets, and 
producing them as evidence of, her infidelity. " The Duped Priest," 
again, where a priest is tricked into believing in a flock of sheep 
beneath the water, and finally shoved in to seek them, is a frag- 
mentary version of another old and favourite story, which in a Latin 
metrical dress, and under the name of Unibos, appears in Germany 
in the eleventh or twelfth century, and occurs in Ireland in two forms, 
one of which, " Little Fairly," is given by Lover. The last section of 
these Basque legends contains the " Religious Tales." One of the 
more remarkable is " The Saintly Orphan Girl," an example of a 
singular class of narratives which apparently have for their purpose 
to reconcile the inevitable fulfilment of destiny with the mercy of 

Several legends have a plainly mythological basis, and this the 
editor attempts in some places to interpret Such an investigation is 
in general really a difficult matter, needing much more caution and 
patience than the interpretation of myths like that of Hermes, say, 
or Achilles, or Hestia, which we have in a form between two and 
three thousand years old. To have a chance of being successful, 
the inquiry needs to be conducted from several starting-points, and 
especially by the aid of extended comparison, and of philology. 
The method of Mr. Webster, who does not avail himself of these 
instruments, may be illustrated from a passage where, speaking of the 
incident of a bride and bridegroom dressing each other, as they are 
said to do in one of the tales, he asks, " Could anything tell more 
quaintly of the marriage of the sun and dawn ? — the sun decking the 
morning clouds with his light and beauty, and they again robing hiip 
in their soft and tender colouring." So he has no hesitation in seeing 
a solar allegory (for he does not agree in the view of M. Breal that a 
myth is an explanation) in the Tartaro, " a huge one-eyed giant, 
occasionally a cannibal," who constitutes one of the distinctive fea- 
tures of Basque tradition. "The Cyclops myth," he says, "is an 
occidental and not an oriental one, and is more strictly localised than 
almost any other. This may be accounted for by saying that the 
sun's great fiery eye is rather that of the setting than of the rising 
sun ; that the red-hot stake is the ruddy mountain peak, or the tall 
fir trunk, seen against the western horizon, and illumined by his 
descending rays." And he goes on to remark that Sicily, " the most 

Basque and Other Legends. 295 

easterly habitation of the Basques within historic times/' is also the 
abode of the Cyclops of Theocritus and Ovid; and to suggest that 
the Italic races in Magna Graecia and Sicily may have borrowed from 
the Basques their special form of this legend. Now the reader is 
tempted to exclaim — as Henri Quatre did of King Agesilaus of 
Sparta — that he has heard of this sun-eye before. Wilhelm Grimm 
was the first, we believe, to so understand the blazing orb in the 
Cyclops' forehead, and to see in these giants a whole nation of sims. 
But great progress has been made in the interpretation of myths 
since Grimm's Sage von Polyphem was written, and the more recent 
learned and laborious German scholar already referred to above 
shows weighty reason for distrusting this explanation of the myth in 
question. Mannhardt's view is that the Kyklops was primarily a 
being of the whirlwind and the thunderstorm (the names of the .three 
Cyclopes in Hesiod — Brontes, Steropes, and Arges — connect them 
with electrical phenomena) ; ^ that this personification is dose akin to 
that of the whirlwind in some myths and legends as a Fiery Wheel ; 
and that light is thrown on the Greek myth by the modem German be- 
lief, reported by Schonwerth from the Upper Palatinate, that if a man 
casts a knife into the whirlwind he may cut out the eye of the demon 
who sits within it, and stop the storm. As the Hellenic Kyklops 
came to be connected with the fire-god Hephaistos, the flaming 
forehead-eye appears in ordinary European tradition as a character- 
istic of fire-demons ; and we get an obvious reason for the association 
of a race of giant fire-smiths with Sicily — Dante's Island of Fire, 
risola del Fuoco. Curiously enough, the legend of the Cyclops was 
found a few years ago by Dr. Pitr^, surviving in Sicily yet. For the 
name " Tartaro," applied to the one-eyed giant in Biscay, Mr. Web- 
ster follows M. Cerquand in suggesting an etymology from the French 
TariarCy Tartar. If we ourselves were allowed what schoolboys call 
a " shot," we should say that Tartar is a Romance form of Tartarus^ 
as Oreo (Ogre) is a Romance form of Orcus ; and that both names 
simply associate the fire-giants with the fiery infemum. It is just 
possible (though there is another explanation) that the moimtain 
in which the Tartaro dwells was originally a volcano — a name, by 
the way, coming from an Italian fire-god — and his ravenous appetite 
has probably an elemental significance also. " Brigit of the great 
appetite " is the title of an Irish fire goddess in an ancient satirical tale. 

Though Mr. Webster fails, as it seems to us, to rightly interpret ' 
what firagments of mythology survive in these stories, we cannot help 

* From fipoyHi, thunder ; artpon'fi, lightning ; &p>4'> flashing brightly.] 

296 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

thinking that an interpretation might be ventured on in certain cases 
without much risk of error. In the story, for example, called 
" Malbrouk," its hero steals a Cow with Golden Horns from the care 
of a malevolent guardian of the giant or monster type. Now, apart 
from the frequent personification of the homed moon as a cow, as in 
the story of lo, a clue does seem to be given to the original signifi- 
cance of the theft in the Basque tale by its subsequent episode where 
the same young thief steals " a moon which lighted for seven leagues 
round." Conjecture, then, would not, we think, go very wide of the 
mark if it made the Thief in this instance that ancient cow-stealer 
Hermes, the Cow the moon, its guardian or owner the counterpart of 
the giant Argos, and a wonderful Violin, which also figures in the tale, 
the same element as its master, the personified Wind. The Greek 
Wind-God was, the reader may remember, the inventor of the lyre. 
Mr. Webster himself notes the resemblance of Malbrouk to Hermes. 
The theft of the cow with the golden horns by " a certain avaricious 
knave called Mercury, whose skill in music was surpassing," forms 
the subject of one of the histories of the Gesta Romanorum. 

One is tempted to recognise some faint traces of an ancient 
moon-cultus in Biscay. At least, Strabo (lib. iii.) records that the 
Celtiberians and neighbouring tribes were said to sacrifice at night to 
a nameless god at every full moon, before their doors, each household 
giving up the night to dancing and festival. The name for God, 
again, in Basque, Jaungoicoa — concerning which there is just now a 
ferly stour among Basque scholars — has been thought to mean ** the 
Lord-Moon " or " Lord of the Moon," * though this seems to be as 
doubtful as the theory that the same word, and not the name of 
Saint Gengulphus, has enriched the English vocabulary with another 
oath. On ancient coins of the locality a horse is figured, and Mr. 
Webster is, perhaps, quite right in connecting this animal with the 
White Mare which appears in some of his stories. Now it is at least 
a suggestion worth considering, whether the White Mare is not one 
and the same mythological being with the White Cow mentioned 
above. In one place the Mare brings a saucepanful of water which 
possesses the quality of making the hero's head and hands shine after 
being washed in it. It deserves remark that a recent French work 
on Mythology in Art includes a representation, from a coin or medal, 
of Diana Lucifera seated on a galloping horse and carrying a torch.* 

' See the letters of Prince Bonaparte and M. Vinson in the Academy for 
February and March 1877. 

* La MythologU dans PArt Ancim et Modeme, Par Rene Menard. Paris, 
1877, p. 300. 

Basque and Other Legends. 297 

There are many other suggestive matters ui Mr. Webster's booL 
We find references in all appearance to foigotten customs, such as 
indignities offered to the corpse of an insolvent debtor; or cutting a 
strip of skin off a man's back as a penalty for the non-fiilfilment of a 
contract ; or riding at a diamond ring hung from a bell as a test of 
horsemanship. In one story a thoroughly Oriental feature occurs, 
where a ship captain, meeting a large serpent, refirains from hurting it, 
saying, " God has given thy life to thee; live, then" (p. 100). The 
editor's remarks, too, on the characteristics of the cantes dhotSj and 
their suitableness for the simple people among whom they circulate, 
would be very worthy of quotation. But all these points we must 
pass by, and devote the remaining space to a brief notice of three 
out of many examples of Biscayan superstition. 

(I.) The Talking Spittle. . In the tale of " The Lady Pigeon and 
Her Comb " its heroine spits before the door of her room, bidding 
the spittle answer for her in her absence. Now, in Ireland at least, 
a child is often described as the very spit of his father ; the magpie 
is said to have been bom of the Devil's spittle ; boys in the north 
of England spit their saul (soul), as they say, by way of solemn 
asseveration ; * and spitting is an approved charm against the Evil 
Eye, and ill-luck of all kinds.^ It is not hard, it seems to us, to 
discern the notion of a vis generaiiva running through all these beliefs, 
and in such an association is perhaps to be sought the key to the 
anti-fascination powers of spitting. For other practices intended to 
protect from malignant influences point in the same direction. It 
would seem that a squinting or hunchbacked person, or a madman, 
was assumed to be in some way under the influence of evil spirits ; 
that a white or piebald horse, as well as the pied magpie — the Devil's 
bird — was also associated with such spirits, and that they were supposed 
to be about ladders, and to be present when one sneezed. The 
popular mind may regard the spiritual presence in different ways. 
Commonly its assumed purpose is viewed as malignant, and to avert 
the threatened harm people in some parts of England spit when they 
pass under a ladder, or see a single magpie, or meet a squinting man, 

* According to the Abbe L, Boniface, as cited in MHusinc for May 5, boys 
have the same custom in the D^partement da Nord. 

* It was so in the time of Persius : — 

Ecce avia aut metuens Divum matertera cunis 
Exemit puerum, frontemque atque uda labella 
Infami digUo et lustrcUibus ante salivis 
Expiat, urentts oculos inhibere perita. (Sat. II.) 

Old women in Ireland yet spit on a new-bom infant, and say in Irish, '* God 

preserve you, my child." 

298 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

as did the Greek when he met a madman or epileptic— one, that is, 
assumed to be possessed by a spirit. In France, when you meet a 
himchback, you must pass him so as to have him on your right 
(a form of the belief in the virtue of turning sun- wise, deistol, so 
common in Celtic countries, which appears in a Chinese Life of 
Buddha, derived at a very ancient date from Indian sources), turn 
softly round, and, unknown to him, touch his hump. Should you 
meet three bossus^ it is as well to know, there will surely be rain 
before night. In the same country, and also in central England, you 
must spit when you meet a piebald horse, and keep silence " until 
you meet a white one." But there is another safeguard beside the 
unpleasant one in question, and its character is pretty well indicated 
in the line of Persius (naming together both the in/amis digitus and 
the saliva iustralis) which we have italicized on the previous page. 
The Roscommon countryman, according to Sir William Wilde, places 
his thumb and fingers in a peculiar position when he passes the lios 
(ancient earthen fort) or other well-known haunt of the Good People. 
King Francis I. of Naples, Mr. Tylor somewhere notes, had the 
habit of putting his hand in his pocket for a like purpose when his 
eye encountered some sinister gaze in the crowd of his subjects. And 
in France, instead of spitting when going under a ladder, you must 
lay hold with one hand on the index finger of the other. But there 
are usages which suggest the existence of a belief that the spiritual 
presence may be the occasion, not of harm, but of good to the person 
concerned. Sneezing was undoubtedly viewed as an indication of 
such presence, and the modern Zulu says when he sneezes, " Spirits 
of our people, give me cattle." ^ So in Ireland the ancestral spirits 
are not forgotten in the saying used when taking snuff, "God's 
blessing with your soul, and the souls of the seven generations (seacht 
sinnsior) that left you ; your father, and your mother, and with your 
own soul in the last day." It is for the sake of such prayers that 
many pious people there keep a snuff-box ; and is it in part for the 
same reason that snuff was originally provided at wakes ? As the 
Kafir, in the saying quoted above, seems to recognise in a sneeze the 
occasion of obtaining a benefit from his Spirits, so in Northampton- 
shire and elsewhere the saying about sneezing is, " Once, a wish ; 
twice, a kiss ; three times, a journey to go ; " and French people have 
a corresponding superstition, save that there the third sneeze indicates 
a letter. In Italy people cry to a married woman sneezing, " Figlio 
mdschio,^^^ In France, again, one has this significant privilege of 

* Callaway, Religious System of the Amazulu, Part I., p. 64. 
« Mr. R. G. Haliburton in Temple Bar hi iSj St p. 346. 

Basque and Other Legends. 299 

wishing in many of the cases referred to above, when passing under 
a ladder, or meeting a hunchback, or a piebald horse. In England 
you must wish when you meet the piebald, and few rustic mothers 
do not share the belief, recorded by Archbishop Whately in his 
" Miscellaneous Remains," that the rider of such a bqast can, by 
virtue of it, prescribe a cure for the whooping-cough. To what has 
been said above of beliefs associated with the notion of the presence 
of spirits we must add two other remarkable Irish "survivals" 
— if we may employ that modem counterpart of the Latin superstitio. 
In the county of Limerick, when one has an extraordinary run of luck 
at cards, people will say to him, " Your awn people are near youP 
Modem savages make the closest connexion between a man's name, 
or even a portrait of him, and his spirit. In Ireland it would seem 
that the ancestral spirits of an absent person were conceived to affect, 
by some secret influence, the conversation of a company where his 
name is pronounced, for in Galway, when people are talking about 
some absent person, and he unexpectedly arrives, instead of the 
Roman " Lupus infabuia^** or the French " Speak of the wolf and you 
see his tail," or the German, " Paint the devil on the wall and he 
straightway appears," or the English, "Speak of the devil," &c, 
people say, Is duine uasal gan br^ag i, "He's a gentleman, without a 
lie." Now a gentleman is " a man that has a grandfather," one, 
that is, who has ancestral spirits.* 

(II.) The Basques have a belief in a certain diabolical Toad sitting 
by the church porch, which, according to Mr. Webster, appears in 
De TAncre. This may very well be, though the folio of " le terrible 
conseiller," as Michel calls him, lies open before us, entitied " A View 
of the Inconstancy of Bad Angels and Demons, wherein is fully treated 
of Sorcerers and Sorcery, by Pierre de Lancre, Councillor to the 
King at the Parliament of Bordeaux. At Paris, with Nicholas Buon, 
Street of Saint Jacques, at the sign of Saint Claude and the Wild 
Man. MDCXIII. With Privilege of the King " ; and we have gone 
through it without finding an explicit reference. The notion is, how- 
ever, to be found existing in later times and nearer home. Would 
you know an unfailing way of becoming a witch T " Let a man," 
says the late Mr. Hawker, in his " Footprints of Former Men in Far 

* The instances of living English, Irish, and French superstition given in this 
paper have been derived almost without exception (where no authority is named) 
from oral sources. 

The ancestral spirits would seem to be assumed to be also present when people 
yawn. If two people chance to yawn at the same time, they are related (county 
of Cork, also Limerick). 

300 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Cornwall" (Lond. 1870), *f go to the chancel to sacrament, and let 
him hide and bring away the bread from the hands of the priest ; 
then, next midnight let him take it and carry it round the church, 
widdershins, that is, from south to north, crossing by east three times: 
the third tkne there will meet him a big, ugly, venomous toad,' 
gaping and gasping," it will receive the bread, breathe thrice " upon 
the man, and he will be made a strong witch for evermore." 

(III.) In the Pays Basque, according to one of the stories, the 
Devil makes his chalice of the parings of nails cut on Sunday. In 
Northamptonshire a child is still told that if he cut his nails on 
a Sunday he will have ill luck or he will thieve something before the 
week is out. 

There are superstitions which analogy would warrant us in look- 
ing for among the Biscayans which do not occur in these legends. 
Of the Furious Host, for example, there does not appear to be a 
trace in them. Yet no belief is more widely spread in Europe — in 
Germany the Wiithendes Heer, in France the Mesnie Furieuse, in 
England Arthur's Chase, in Ireland the SliSagh Sidhe (the Host of the 
Immortal Spirits, the Dead), in mediaeval Spain the Huesta Antigua, 
in modem Greece the chase led by Charon — and the superstition, 
we may suspect, would not be found to be wholly absent in Biscay. 

These discursive notes on popular lore generally, and more par- 
ticularly on popular tales, may be appropriately brought to a close by 
a reference to the curious variations of the endings employed by the 
story-tellers of different countries. The Basque narrators of Mr. 
Webster's stories generally dismiss their dramatis personce with the 
words : " And if they lived well, they died well also." The artless 
Sicilian narratives of Pitrb conclude with the words : 

Idda arristau filici e cuntenti, 
£ cok nuatri senza nenti. 

" She (or they) remains happy and contented, and here are we with- 
out anything " ; or, " here are we picking our teeth " ; or, 

Favola scritta, favola ditta, 
Diciti la vostra, ca la mia h ditta : 

** Story written, story told ; tell me yours, for mine is told." The 
present writer, when a boy, often heard children in York end a tale 
with the words : 

I went into the garden, and found a brass farden ; 
The farden was bended, and my story's ended. 

In Ireland the legends related by the turf fire with so jovial an 

Basque and Other Legends. 301 

abandon end variously. Often the narrator, telling of the union of 
the Bear of Orange and his faithful wife at last, and how they lived, 
happy ever after, adds emphatically : " But if they didn't, that we 
mayr Written Irish stories sometimes end with Crioch agus Amen 
(the End and Amen). In Northamptonshire the speaker will turn 
abruptly on one of the auditory and cry : " You killed Chapman's 
cow." ** Yes, I YnoTN yew did it," is the knowing reply. In Ireland, 
also, the Connaught story-teller, after winding the narrative up to a 
point of thrilling interest, suddenly turns on some open-mouthed 
crone, and giving her a rap on the shoulder, cries out, " You're hit ! 
Mdire ! you're hit ! " The poor old cailleach jumps from her stool 
as if shot, and there is great laughter in the company. The '* Popular 
Talcs " before referred to, " collected in the Agenais " by M. Jean- 
Frangois Blad^ (Paris, 1874), some of which, such as LOme a 
las Dens Raujos (the Man with the Red Teeth) and Fel-d'Ase 
' (Peau-d'Ane), are among the very best examples of genuine popular 
tradition, generally end with the following precious niaiserU : 

E eric, eric, 
Moun counte es finit ; 

£ eric, crae, 
Moun counte es acabat. 
Passi per moun prat, 
Ambe uno cuillero de fabos que m'an dounat. 

And eric, eric, 
My tale is ended ; 
And eric, crae, 
My tale is done ; 
And here fare I through my meadow, 
All with a present of beans on a spoon. 


302 The GmtlematCs Magasine. 



TOWARDS the end of March, I had occasion to visit the 
Basutu chief Secocoeni, in his native stronghold beyond the 
Loolu Berg, a range to the north-east of Pretoria, about 250 miles 
away ; and as this journey was typical of travelling in the wilds of 
South Africa, an account of it may prove interesting. 

It is perhaps necessary to explain, for the benefit of those who are 
not acquainted with South African politics, that Secocoeni is the 
chieftain who has been at war with the late Transvaal Republic, and 
who drove back its forces, capturing some 7000 head of cattle. 
It is from this raid that the present state of affairs has arisen ; so 
that this obscure chief, with his 7000 warriors, has materially affected 
the future destinies of South Africa. Negotiations of peace had 
been set on foot, and it was in connection with these delicate matters 
that the journey came to be undertaken. 

" Going to Secocoeni at this time of year ! Ah ! " said one gen- 
tleman. " Well, look here. I sent five natives through that country 
in this same month (March) last year ; out of those five, three died 
of the fever, and the other two just got through with their lives. I 
only tell you, you know, so that you may take precautions. This 
is a bad fever year." However, fever or no fever, we had to go. 
As it was necessary to travel rapidly, we could only take four 
riding horses, three for ourselves and the fourth for a Zulu named 
" Lankiboy," who also led a pack-horse, and carried an enormous 
" knob-kerry " or shillelagh stuck in his button-hole, as though it were 
a wedding bouquet. 

Behind our saddles were fastened our saddle-bags, containing a 
change of clothing, and in front we strapped a rug and' a mackintosh. 
Our commissariat consisted of four tins of potted ham, and our 
medicine chest of six dozen bottles of quinine, some Cockle's pills, 
and a roll of sticking plaster, which, with a revolver and hunting 
knife or two, completed our equipment. 

We knew little save that our destination lay due east, so due east 

A Visit to the Chief Secoccent. 303 

we steered. After riding for about twenty miles, and crossing the Ma- 
haliesburg range, stretching away north for hundreds of miles, we 
came to a Boer's house, where we off-saddled to feed our horses. 
It must be understood that the Boers were the one certain diffi- 
culty, and one of the possible dangers, to be encountered on 
our road, for at no time are they a pleasant people tb deal with, and 
just now they are remarkably unpleasant towards Englishmen. 

For instance, at this first house, we managed to get some forage 
for our horses, before our scowling host found out who we were, but 
not a bit could we get to eat. " Have you no bread, myn Heer ? " 
" We have no bread to spare." " Have you any eggs ? " " We have 
no eggs." " Can you let us have some milk ? " " Susan, have you 
got any milk to give these carles (fellows) ? " Finally, we succeeded 
in buying three cups of milk for a shilling, "as a favour," and that is 
all we got from sunrise to sunset. 

Riding, on empty stomachs, for another sixty miles over the plains, 
we came to a Boer's house where we had to sleep. Just before we 
reached the door I noticed what I have often seen since, a lot of 
graves in a row, with heaps of stones piled over them. It appears 
that these people do not care about being buried in consecrated 
ground, their only anxiety being to be put in a coffin, and they are 
generally laid to rest just in front of their doors. There is neither 
railing nor headstone, and no trees or flowers, those green emblematic 
garments with which civilised people clothe the bareness of their 
dead; and I remember once seeing several graves within two or three * 
yards of the public road, so that in a year or so the waggons will be 
rumbling over the heads of those who lie beneath. 

When you ride up to a Boer's house, the etiquette is to wait until 
some member of the family asks you to off"- saddle, and then you must 
go in and shake hands with everyone, a most disagreeable custom. 
None of the women — who are about as u_gly a lot as the world 
can produce, being all of an exaggerated Dutch build, and very 
heavy and fat — rise to meet one, they just hold out their hands. 
This house was a fair specimen of the sort of habitation indulged 
in by the higher class of Boer. The main room was about 18 feet 
square, with that kind of door which allows the upper half to open 
whilst the lower remains shut, such as is used in stables in England. 
The flooring is made of cow-dung, into which peach stones are 
trodden at the threshold, in order to prevent its wearing away. 
The furniture consists of a deal table and some chairs, rather 
neatly made of strips of hide fastened to a wooden frame 
Therq is no ceiling, but only beams, to which are fastened strips 01 

304 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

" billtong," or game's flesh, dried in the sun. Out of this room open 
one or two more, in which the whole family sleep, without much 
attempt at privacy. 

Sitting about the room were two or three young unwholesome- 
looking mothers, without stockings, and nursing howling babies; 
in the comer, on a chair, made twice as large as any of the others, 
reposed the mother of the family, a woman of the most enormous 
bulk, whose object in life seemed to be to catch and crush the moths 
as they flew past (I saw her kill eight in three minutes), and to 
take vast quantities of snufF. The whole house was pervaded by 
a sickly odour, like that of a vault, whilst the grime and filth 
of it baffles description. And this was the place we had to 
eat in and sleep in. However, there was no help for it; the 
only thing to do was to light one's pipe, and smoke. After an hour 
or so,, supper was put upon the table, consisting of a bowl-full of 
boiled bones, a small stack of boiled mealie cobs, and, be it added, 
some good bread and butter. The eating anangements of these 
people are certainly very trying. The other day we had to eat 
our dinner in a Boer's house, with a reeking ox-hide, just torn from 
the animal, lying on the floor beside us, together with portions of 
the poor beast's head whose flesh we were eating. However, on this 
occasion we were spared the ox-hide, and, being very hungry, 
managed to put up with the other discomforts. After a long grace 
our suppers were served out to us. I remember I got an enormous 
bone with but little flesh on it, which, if I may form an opinion 
from its great size and from a rapid anatomical survey, must have 
been the tibia of an ox. A young Boer sat opposite to me — 
a wonderful fellow. He got through twelve whole mealie cobs 
(a fair feed for a horse) whilst I was eating half a one. His method 
was peculiar, and shows what practice can do. He shoved a 
mealie cob into his mouth, gave it a bite and a wrench, just like 
one of those patent American threshing machines, brought the cob 
out perfectly clear of grain, and took another. After the supper was 
over we had another long grace ending with: " Boor spijze en drunk 
de Heer ik dank " (For food and drink the Lord I thank). 

After supper we went outside in order to escape the feet- washing 
ceremony (all in the same water) which this " simple pastoral people " 
indulge in, and which they expect the barbarous " uitlander" (stranger) 
to enter into with enthusiasm. When we came back we found that the 
women — ^who, by-the-by, do not eat till the men have finished — had 
done their meal, and gone to bed, having first made us up a luxurious 
couch on the floor, consisting of a filthy feather-bed and an equally 

A Visit to the Chief Secocosni. 305 

filthy blanket My heart misgave me when 1 looked at that bed. 
It may have been fancy, but once or twice I thought it moved. 
However, there was no choice, unless we chose to sit up all 
night; so in. we got, looking for all the world like three big sun- 
burned dolls put to bed by some little girL I, as the youngest, 
blew out the light, and then ! — ^from every side they came. Up 
one's arms, up one's legs, down one's back they scampered, till life 
became a burden. Sleep was impossible ; one could only lie awake 
and calculate the bites per minute, and the quantity of blood one 
would lose before daybreak. Cold as it was, I would have turned 
out and slept in the veldt, only my rug was over my two companions 
as well as myself, so I could not take it I have slept in a good 
many different places, and in very fairly uncomfortable places, but 
I never had such a night before. 

At the first grey dawn of morning the old " frau " came stumbling 
out of the bedroom, and sat down without ceremony in her big chair. 
Waiting till she thought that we had reached a sufficiently advanced 
stage in our toilette — and her idea of what that was must have been 
a strange one — she shouted out to her daughters, in a voice like 
that of a speaking trumpet, that they could " com," and in they all 
came. Very glad were we when we had paid our bill and were in the 
saddle once more, riding through the cold morning mist that lay in 
masses on all the ridges of the hills like snow on mountains. 

It was needful to start early, for we had more than sixty miles to 
cover, and our ponies had done a good journey the day before. The 
work that one can get out of these ponies is marvellous. There was 
my pony, " Mettle," who had my eleven stone to carry, to say nothing 
of the saddle, heavy saddle-bags, and a roll of rugs, who came in at 
the end of his journey as fresh as paint We cantered easily over the 
great high-veldt prairies, now and then passing clumps of trees, out- 
posts of the bush-veldt. These enormous plains, not\vithstanding 
their dreary vastness, have a wild beauty of their own. The grass is 
what is called sour grass, and has a peculiar blue tinge, but stock do 
not like it so well as the low-veldt grass, which is sweeter, and 
fattens them more quickly, though it does not put them in such good 
fettle. The rock here is all white sandstone, and thinly overlaps 
an enormous bed of coal, cropping up from beneath the water- 
washed surface. At this time of year there are very few beasts or birds 
of any sort to be seen, though in the winter the veldt is one moving 
mass of " trek " or migratory game. 

Our destination that day was Botsabelo, the most important mis- 
sion-station, and one of the very few successful ones, in South-eastern 
VOL. ccxLi. NO. 1 761. X 

3o6 The Gentlematis Magazine. .^ . 

Africa. As we neared it, the country gradually broke into hills of 
peculiar and beautiful formation, which rendered the last two hours of 
oiu: ride, in the dark, through an unknown country, rather a difficult 
job. However, we stumbled through streams, and over boulders, 
and about nine o'clock were lucky enough to come right upon the 
station, where we were most kindly received by Dr. Merensky. 
The station itself stands on the brow of a hill surrounded by gardens 
and orchards ; beneath it lie slope and mountain, stream and valley, 
over which are dotted numbers of kraals, to say nothing of three 
or four substantial houses occupied by the assistant missionary and 
German artisans. Near Dr. Merensky's house stands the church, by 
far the best I have seen in the Transvaal, and there is also a store with 
some well-built workshops around it. All the neighbouring country 
belongs to the station, which is, in fact, like a small independent State, 
40,000 acres in extent. On a hill-top overshadowing the station, 
are placed the fortifications, consisting of thick walls running in 
a circle with upstanding towers, in which stand one or two cannon; 
but it all reminds one more of an old Norman keep, with its 
village clustered in its protecting shadow, than of a modern mission 

Dr. Merensky commenced his labours in Secocoeni's country, but 
was forced to fly from thence by night, with his wife and new-bom 
baby, to escape being murdered by that chiel's orders, who, like most 
Kafir potentates, has an intense aversion to missionaries. Twelve 
years ago he established this station, and, gathering his scattered 
converts around him, defied Secocoeni to drive him thence. Twice 
that chief has sent out a force to sweep him away, and murder his 
people, and twice they have come and looked, and, like false Sextus, 
turned back again. The Boers, too, have more than once threatened 
to destroy him, for it is unpleasant to them to have so intelligent a 
witness in their midst, but they have never dared to tr}v The place 
is really impregnable to Basutus and Boers ; Zulus might carry it, with 
tlieir grand steady rush, but it would be at a terrible sacrifice of life. 
In fact. Dr. Merensky has been forced by the pressure of circum- 
stances to teach his men the use of a rifle, as well as the truths of 
Christianity; to trust in God, but also to " keep their powder dry." 
At a few minutes' notice he can turn out 200 well-armed natives, 
ready for offence or defence; and the existence of such a stronghold 
is of great advantage to the few English in the neighbourhood, for the 
Boers know well that should they attack them they would draw down 
the vengeance of Dr. Merensk/s formidable body of Christian soldiers. 

We only passed one night at Botsabelo, and next morning went 

A Visit to the Chief Secocceni. 307 

on to Middleburg or Nazareth, which is an hour's ride from the 
station. Here, too, we met with a warm welcome from the handful of 
English residents, but we were eager to push on as rapidly as pos- 
sible, for our kind friends told us that it would be impossible to 
proceed to Secocoeni's on horseback, because of the deadly nature of 
the country for horses. So we had to hire an ox-waggon, which 
they provisioned for us, and, much to oin: disgust (as we were 
pressed for time), we had to fall back on that dilatory method of 

We decided that we would take the three oldest and least valuable 
horses with us, in order to proceed with them from Fort Weeber, which 
was our next point, to Secocoeni's town, whither waggons could not 
reach. Few English readers are aware that there is a mysterious disease 
among horses in South Africa, peculiar to the country, called "horse- 
sickness." During the autumn season it carries off thousands of horses 
annually, though some are good and others bad years — a bad fever 
year being generally a bad horse-sickness year also, and vice versd. 
A curious featiu*e about it is, that as the veldt gets "tamed," 
that is, fed off by domesticated animals, the sickness gradually 
disappears. No cure has as yet been discovered for it, and very 
few horses pull through — perhaps, five per cent. These are called 
" salted horses," and are very valuable ; as, although they are not 
proof against the disease, they are not so liable to take it. A salted horse 
may be known by the peculiar looseness and roughness of his skin, 
and also by a certain unmistakable air of depression, as though he 
felt that the responsibilities of life pressed very heavily upon him. 
He is like a man who ,has dearly bought his experience ; he can 
never forget the terrible lesson taught in the buying. 

On the fourth day from our start we left Middleburg, and, 
taking a north-east course from this outpost of civilisation, over- 
took the waggon, and camped, after a twenty miles trek, just on the 
edge of the bush-veldt. We had two young Boers to drive our 
waggons — terrible louts, with gaping mouths just like cod-fishes'. 
However, they understood how to drive a waggon, and whilst one of 
them drove, the other would sit for hours, with a vacant stare on his 
face, thinking. It is a solemn fact that, from the time we left 
Middleburg till the time we returned, neither of those fellows 
touched water, that is, to wash themselves. Boers never do. The 
only luxury in the shape of comforts of the toilette which they allowed 
themselves was a comb with a brass back, carefully tied to the roof 
of the waggon with two strips of ox-hide thick enough to have held 
a hundredweight of lead. I don't think they ever used it— it was too 


3o8 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

great a luxury for general use — ^but they would occasionally untie it 
and look at it. Our own outfit in the waggon was necessarily scanty, 
consisting of a few iron pots and plates, a kettle, some green blankets, 
a lantern, and an old anti-friction grease-can used for water, which 
gave it a fine flavour of waggon-wheels. We also had a " carde," 
or wooden frame, across which were stretched strips of hide fitted 
into the waggon about two feet above the floor, intended to sleep on; 
but the less said about that the better. 

After we left the great high-veldt plains, over which the fresh 
breeze was sweeping, we dropped down into a beautiful bush-clad 
valley with mountains on either side. It was like making a sudden 
descent into the tropics. Not a breath of wind stirred the trees, and 
the sun shone with a steady, burning heat. Scarcely a sound broke 
the silence, save the murmur of the river we crossed and recrossed, 
the occasional pipe of a bird, and the melancholy cry, half sigh, 
half bark, of an old baboon, who was swinging himself along, in- 
dignant at our presence. 

If the sights and sounds were beautiful, the sun was hot, and the 
road fearful, and we were indeed glad when we reached " Whitehead's 
Cobalt Mine," and were most kindly received by the gentlemen who 
superintend the works. The house used to belong to some Boer, who 
had deserted the place, but left behind him a beautiful orchard of 
orange and peach trees. The place is very feverish and unhealthy, 
and the white ants so troublesome that everything has to be stood 
in sardine tins full of ashes. 

On our way from the house we went to see the cobalt mine, which 
is on a hill-side a mile away. It has only been established about 
three years, and has existed hitherto under the greatest difficulties as 
regards labour, transport, machinery, danger from surrounding native 
tribes, &c. ; but it has already, the proprietor informed me, reduced 
the price of cobalt — the blue dye used to colour such things as the 
willow-pattern plates — by one-half in the English market, bringing 
it down from somewhere about ;^ 140 to ;^8o a ton. We were very 
much astonished to see the amount of work which had been done, as 
we expected to find a pit such as the Kafirs work for copper, but 
instead of that there was a large slanting shaft quite a hundred yards 
long, to say nothing of various openings out of it following branch 
leads of ore. There is also a vertical shaft 100 feet deep, through 
which the ore comes up, and by which one can ascend and descend in 
a bucket. After we emerged from this awfiil hole, we went into 
another, a drive running straight into the mountain for more than 
300 feet, following a vein of black oxide of cobalt, which is much 

A Visit to the Chief Secocosni. 309 

more valuable than the ore ; and though the vein is rarely more 
than a foot in thickness, it pays very well. Leaving the mine, we 
rode on past some old Kafir copper-workings — circular pits — which 
must have been abandoned, to judge from their appearance, a 
hundred years ago, till we came to the banks of the great "Oli- 
fants'," or "Elephants'" river. This magnificent stream, though it 
is unnavigable owing to frequent rapids, has stretches miles long, 
down which two men-of-war could steam side by side, and after its 
junction with the Elands* River it grows larger and larger till, 
pursuing a north-east course, it at length falls into the mighty 
Limpopo. It is a very majestic but somewhat sluggish stream, and 
its water is not very good. You cannot see the river till you are right 
upon it, owing to the great trees with which its Steep banks are fiinged, 
and in the early morning it is quite hidden from bank to bank by a 
dense mass of billows of white mist, indescribably strange to look 

But, beautifiil as is this country, it is most unhealthy for man and 
beast. The close odour, the long creeping lines of mist, the rich 
rank vegetation, the steady heat of day and night, all say one 
word, " fever," and fever of the most virulent type. The traveller 
through this sort of country is conscious of a latent fear lest he should 
some day begin to feel hot when he ought to be cold, and cold when 
he ought to be hot, and so be stricken down, to rise prematurely old, 
or perhaps to die, and be buried in a lonely grave covered with 
stones to keep off the jackals. We were travelling in the very worst 
fever-month, March, when the summer vegetation is commencing to 
rot, and throw off its poisonous steam. What saved us here and 
afterwards, at Secocoeni's, was our temperate living, hard exercise, and 
plenty of quinine, and tobacco, smoked. 

All the country through which we were passing is good game- 
vcldt, but we saw very little and killed nothing. This was chiefly 
owing to the fact that we did not dare go out of hearing of the 
waggon- wheels, for fear of getting lost in the bush, and being 
starved to death, a thing very easily done. A few years back this 
veldt swarmed with big game, with elephants and giraffes, and they 
are even now occasionally seen. We managed now and again to get a 
glimpse of some of the beautiful " Impala " buck, or of a small lot 
of blue wilderbeestes vanishing between the trees, like a troop of wild 
horses. There are still plenty of lions about, but we did not hear any, 
whether it was that they had gone to the high-veldt after the cattle, 
or that they do not roar so much in sunmier, I do not know. 
Perhaps it is as well that we did not, for the roar of a lion is very 

3I.O The Gentlematis Magazine. 

generally followed by what the Dutch call a " skrech." After roaring 
once or twice to wake the cattle up, and make them generally uneasy, 
the lion stations himself about twenty yards to windward of the 
waggon ! The oxen get wind of him and promptly " skrech," that 
is, break their reins and run madly into the veldt. This is just what 
the lion wants, for now he can pick out a fat ox and quietly 
approach him, from the other side, till he is within springing 
distance. He then jumps upon him,* crushes his neck with one 
bite, and eats him at his leisure. 

And so we trekked on through the sunrise, through the burning 
mid-day and glowing sunsets, steering by the sun and making our 
own road; now through tambouki grass higher than the oxen, and 
now through dense bush, till at length, one day, we said good-bye to 
the Olifants' just where the Elands' River flows into it, and turned our 
faces eastward. This course soon brought us on to higher ground and 
away from the mimosa, which loves the low, hot valleys, into the region 
of the sugar bush, which thrives upon the hill-sides. This sugar bush 
is a very handsome and peculiar plant, with soft thick leaves, standing 
about twenty feet high. It bears a brush-like flower, each of which in 
the Cape Colony contains half a teaspoonful of delicious honey; but, 
curiously enough, though in other respects the tree is precisely 
similar, this is not the case in the Transvaal or Natal. At the proper 
season the Cape farmers go out with buckets and shake the flowers 
till they have collected sufficient honey to last them for the winter, a 
honey much more fragrant than that made by bees. 

Aft:er a long ride over the open, which must once have been thickly 
populated, to judge from the number of remains of kraals, we came at 
length to Fort Wecber. The fort is very badly situated in the hollow 
of a plain, and so surrounded by fine hills that it is entirely com- 
manded. It consists of a single sod wall about two feet thick and five 
high, capped with loose stones, whilst at two of the comers stand, on 
raised platforms, a six-pounder and a three-pounder Whit\vorth gun. 
Inside the wall are built rows of mud huts, which are occupied by the 
garrison, leaving an open square, in the midst of which is placed the 
magazine. We found the garrison in a wretched condition. They 
have not received any pay except Government "good-fors" (pro- 
missory notes, generally known as "good-for-nothings"), so they are 
in a state of abject poverty ; whilst they were completely cut off" as 
far as regards offensive operations, by the death, from horse-sickness, 
of eighty-two of the ninety horses they owned. However, the officers 
and garrison gave us a very grand reception. As we rode up, they fired 
a salute of twelve guns, and then, after we had dismounted and been 

A Visit to the Chief Secocomi. 311 

received by the officers, we were taken through a lane made by the 
garrison drawn up in a double line, and, just as we got to the middle, 
"bang" went the eighty rifles over our heads. Then an address 
was read (the volunteers are great people for addresses), but a more 
practical welcome soon followed in the shape of a good dinner. 

Next morning we started, a party of seven, including the inter- 
preter, to ride over the Loolu Berg to Secocoeni's, a distance of 
about thirty-eight miles. Poor unfortunates, we little knew what was 
before us when we rode gaily away ! ' 

For the first five miles we passed through the most curious 
granite formation, a succession of small hills entirely composed of 
rounded boulders of granite, weighing firom five to 1000 tons, and 
looking exactly like piles of gigantic snowballs hurled together by some 
mighty hand. The granite formation prevails in all this part of the 
country, and individual boulders sometimes take very curious shapes; 
for instance, in the bush-veldt we passed a great column towering 
high above the trees, composed of six boulders getting smaller and 
smaller from the base up, and each accurately balanced on the one 
beneath it. Then we crossed the range of hills which overlooks 
the fort, and passing Secocoeni's old kraal where he used to livje 
before he retreated to his fastnesses, we arrived at a great alluvial 
valley nine miles broad, on the other side of which rises the Loolu. 
It was on this plain that the only real fight between the volunteers 
and Secocoeni's men took place, when the former managed to get 
between the Basutus and the hills, and shot them down like game, 
killing over 200 men. Leaving the battle-field, where the skeletons 
still lie, a little to our right, we crossed the plain and came to the 
foot of the Loolu, all along the base of which stand neat villages 
inhabited by Secocoeni's people. Some of these villages have 
been burnt by the volunteers, and the remainder are entirely deserted, 
their inhabitants having built fresh huts among the rocks m almost 
inaccessible places. The appearance of these white huts peeping out 
all over the black rocks was very curious, and reminded one of the 
Swiss chalets. 

By the stream that runs along past the villages we off-saddled, as 
both ourselves and our horses were nearly exhausted by the burning 
heat ; but as there was not much time to lose, after a short rest we 
started off again, and rode on over a bed of magnetic iron lying on 
the ground in great lumps of almost pure metal, until we came to a 
stretch of what looked remarkably like gold-bearing quartz, and then to 
a limestone forma.tion: but the whole country is evidently rich beyond 
measure in minerals. All this time we were passing through scenery 

312 The Gentleman! s Magazine. 

inexpressibly wild and grand, and when we had arrived at the highest 
spot of the pass, it reached a climax of savage beauty. About forty 
miles in front of us towered up another magnificent range of blue- 
tinged mountains known as the Blue Berg, whilst all around us rose 
great bush-clad hills, opening away in every direction towards gorgeous- 
coloured valleys. The scene was so grand and solemn that I do not 
think it lies in the power of words to describe it. 

Here we had to dismount to descend a most fearful precipitous 
path consisting of boulders piled together in the wildest con- 
fusion, from one to another of which we had to jump, driving the 
horses before us. Half-way down we oflf-saddled to rest ourselves, and 
as we did so we noticed that the gall was running from one of the 
horses' noses. We knew too well what was the matter, and so left him 
there to die during the night. This horse was by far the finest we 
had with us, and his owner used to boast that the poor beast had 
often carried him, a heavy man, from his house to Pretoria, a distance 
of nearly 90 miles, in one day. He was also a " salted " horse. It is 
a curious thing that the sickness generally kills the best horses first 

After a short rest we started on again, and at the end of another 
hour reached the bottom of the pass. From thence we rode along 
a guUey, that alternately narrowed and widened, till at length it 
brought us right on to Secocoeni's beautiful, fever-stricken home. 

All three of us had seen a good deal of scenery in different parts of 
the world, and one of the party was intimately acquainted with the finest 
spots in South Africa, but we were forced to admit that we had never 
seen anything half so lovely as Secocceni's valley. We had seen grander 
views, indeed the scene from the top of the pass was grander, but 
never anything that so nearly approached perfection in detail. Beau- 
tiful it was, beautiful beyond measure, but it was the sort of beauty 
under whose veil are hidden fever and death. And so we pushed 
on, through the still hot eventide, till at length we came to the gates 
of the town, where we found " Makurupiji," Secocceni's " mouth " or 
prime minister, who had evidently been informed of our coming by 
his spies, waiting to receive us. 

Conducted by this grandee, we went on past the chiefs kraals, 
down to the town, whence flocked men, women, and children, to 
look on the white lords; all in a primitive state of dress, consisting 
of a strip of skin tied round the middle, and the women with their 
hair powdered with some preparation of iron, which gave it a metallic 
blue tinge. 

At length we stopped just opposite a beautiful fortified kopje 
perforated by secret caves where the ammunition of the tribe is 

A Visit to the Chief Secocosni. 313 

hidden. No stranger is allowed to enter these caves, or even to 
ascend the kopje, though they do not object to one^s inspecting some 
of the other fortifications. Dismounting from our wearied horses, we 
passed through a cattle kraal and came into the presence of " Swasi," 
Secocoeni's uncle, a fat old fellow who was busily engaged in braying 
a skin. Nearly every male Basutu one meets, be he high or low, is 
braying a hide of some sort, either by rubbing or by masticating it 
It is a curious sight to come across some twenty of these fellows, 
every one of them twisting or chewing away. 

Swasi was a sort of master of the household; his duty it was to 
receive strangers and see that they were properly looked after; so, 
after shaking hands with us furiously (he was a wonderful fellow to 
shake hands), he conducted us to our hut. It stood in a good- 
sized courtyard beautifully paved with a sort of concrete of limestone 
which looked very clean and white, and surrounded by a hedge of 
reeds and sticks tightly tied together, inside which ran a slightly 
raised bench, also made of limestone. The hut itself was neatly 
thatched, the thatch projecting several feet, so as to form a covering 
to a narrow verandah that ran all round it. Inside it was com- 
modious, and ornamented after the Egyptian style with straight and 
spiral lines, painted on with some kind of red ochre, and floored 
with a polished substance. Certainly, these huts are as much 
superior to those of the Zulus as those who dwell in them are inferior 
to that grand race. What the Basutus gain in art and handiness 
they lose in manliness and gentlemanly feeling. 

We had just laid ourselves down on the grass mats in the court- 
yard — for it was too hot to go into the hut — thoroughly exhausted 
with our day's work, when in came two men, each of them dragging 
a fine indigenous sheep. They were accompanied by Makurupiji, 
who brought us a message from Secocceni to the effect that he, 
the chief, sent to greet us, the great chiefs; that he sent us also a 
morsel to eat, lest we should be hungry in his house. It was but a 
morsel — it should have been an ox, for great chiefs should eat much 
meat — but he himself was pinched with hunger, his belt was drawn 
very tight by the Boers. He was poor, and so his gift was poor; 
still, he would see if to-morrow he could find a beast that had some- 
thing besides the skin on its bones, that he might offer it to us. After 
this magniloquent address the poor animals were trundled out by the 
other gate to have their throats cut. 

After getting some supper and taking our quinine, we turned in and 
slept that night in the best way that the heat would let us, rising next 
morning with the vain hope of getting a bathe. Of all the discom-^ 

314 2^>^^ Gentlemafis Magazine. 

forts we experienced at Secocoeni's, the scarcity and badness of the 
water was the worst. Bad water when you are in a hotbed of fever 
is a terrible privation. And so we had to go unwashed, with the 
exception of having a little water poured over our hands out of 
gourds. We must have presented a curious sight at breakfast that 
morning. Before us knelt a sturdy Kafir, holding a stick in each 
hand, on which were respectively speared a leg and a side of mutton, 
from which we cut off great hunks with our hunting-knives, and, 
taking them in our fingers, devoured them like beasts of prey. If we 
got a bit we did not like, our mode of disposing of it was simple and 
effective. We threw it to one of the natives standing round us, 
among whom was the heir apparent, who promptly gobbled it up. 

Breakfast finished, a message came from Secocoeni asking for 
spirits to drink. But we were not to be taken in in this way, for we 
knew well that if we sent the chief spirits we should get no business 
done that day, and we did not care to run the risk of fever by 
stopping longer than we could help ; so we sent back a message 
to the effect that business must come first and spirits afterwards. 
The head men, who brought this message, said that they could 
perfectly understand our objection as far as Secocoeni and ourselves 
were concerned, since we had to talk, but as they had only to sit still 
and listen there could be no possible objection to their having some- 
thing to drink. This argument was ingenious, but we did not see 
the force of it, as our stock of spirits, which we had brought more 
for medicine than anything else, was very limited. Still, we were 
obliged to promise them a " tot " after the talking was over, in order 
to keep them civil. 

Our message had the desired effect, for presently Secocoeni sent 
to say that it was now time to talk, and that his head men would lead 
us to him. So we started up, accompanied by " Makurupiji," 
" Swasi,'* and " Galook," the general of his forces, a fat fellow with a 
face exactly like a pig. The sun beat down with such tremendous 
force that, though we had only three-quarters of a mile to walk, we 
felt quite tired by the time we reached the chiefs kraals. Passing 
through several cattle kraals, we came to a shed under which 
sat the heir apparent dressed in a gorgeous blanket with his court 
around him. Leaving him, we entered an inner cattle kraal, where, 
in one comer, stood a large, roughly-built shed, under the shade of 
which squatted over a hundred of the head men of the tribe, gathered 
together by Secocoeni to " witness." 

Opening out of this kraal was the chiefs private enclosure, where 
stood his huts. As we drew near, Secocoeni, who had inspired such 

A Visit to the Chief Secocceni. 3 1 5 

terror into the bold Burghers of the Republic, the chief of seven 
thousand warriors, the husband of sixty-four wives, the &ther of a 
hundred children, rose from the ox-hide on which he was seated, 
under the shade of a tree, and came to the gate to meet us. And a 
queer sight this potentate was as he stood there shaking hands through 
the gate. Of middle size, about forty-five years of age, rather fat, 
with a flat nose and small, t^dnkling, black eyes, he presented an 
entirely hideous and semi-repulsive appearance. His dress consisted 
of a cotton blanket over which was thrown a tiger-skin kaross, and 
on his head was stuck an enormous old white felt hat, such as the 
Boers wear, and known as a "wilderbeeste chaser." 

After we had been duly introduced, he retreated to his ox-hide, 
and we went and squatted down among the head men. Secocceni 
took no acti\'e part in the proceedings that followed ; he sat in his 
enclosure and occasionally shouted out some instructions to Maku- 
rupiji, who was literally his " mouth," speaking for him and making 
use of the pronoun "I." During the four hours or so that we were 
there Secocceni never stopped chewing an intoxicating green leaf 
very much resembling that of the pomegranate, of which he occa- 
sionally sent us some. 

After the business of the Commission had come to an end, and 
some of our party started on their homeward journey, we were 
detained by Secocceni, who wished to see us privately. He sent for 
us to his private enclosure, and we sat down on his ox-hide with him 
and one or two head men. It was very curious to see this wily old 
savage shoving a handful of leaves into his mouth, and giving his head 
a shake, and then making some shrewd remark which went straight 
to the bottom of whatever question was in hand. At length we bade 
Secocceni good-bye, having promised to deliver all his respectful 
messages to our chief, and, thoroughly wearied, arrived at our own 
hut Tired as we were, we thought it would be better to start for the 
Fort at once, rather than risk the fever for another night So we 
made up our minds to a long moonlight ride, and, saddling up, got 
out of Secocoeni's town about 3.30 p.m., having looked our last on 
this beautiful fever-trap, which only wants water scenery to make 
it absolutely perfect Half-way up, we saw the poor horse we had 
left sick the day before, lying dead, \sith dry foam all round his 
mouth, and half his skin taken off by some passing Basutu. A 
couple of hundred yards farther on, we found another dying, left 
by the party who had started before us. It was in truth a valley 
of the shadow of death. Luckily our horses lasted us back to the 
Fort, but one died there, and the other two are dead since. 

3i6 The Gentkmafis Magazine. 

Beautiful as was the scene by day, in the light of the full moon it 
was yet more surpassingly lovely. It was solemn, weird. Every 
valley became a mysterious deep, and every hill, stone, and tree shone 
with that cold pale lustre which the moon alone can throw. Silence 
reigned, the silence of the dead, broken only once or twice by the wild 
whistling challenge of one of Secocoeni's warriors as he came bounding 
down the rocks, to see who we were that passed. The effect of the 
fires by the huts, perched among the rocks at the entrance to the 
pass, was very strange and beautiful, reminding one of the midnight 
fires of the Gnomes in the fairy tales. 

And so we rode on, hour after hour, through the night, till we 
well-nigh fell asleep in our saddles, and at length, about two o'clock 
in the morning, we reached the waggons to find the young Boers fast 
asleep in our bed. We kicked them out, and, after swallowing some 
biscuits, tumbled in ourselves for the few hours' rest which we so sadly 

On the following morning, Thursday, two of the party bade farewell 
to our hosts at the Fort and started on one of the quickest possible 
treks, leaving our companion to proceed across country to the fort 
established by President Burgers, or " Porocororo," as the Basutus call 
him, at Steelport. 

We returned to Middleburg by an entirely different route from that 
by which we came, guided by our trustworthy friends the two volunteers. 
Leaving the valley of the Olifants, to our right, we trekked along the 
high-veldt, and thus avoided all the fever country. Roughly speaking, 
we had about 120 miles of country to get over to reach Middleburg, 
and we determined to do this in three days and two nights, so as to 
get in on the Saturday night, as we were much pressed for time. 
Now, according to English ideas, it is no great thing to travel 1 20 
miles in three days ; but it is six days' journey in an ox- waggon over 
bad country, and we were going to do it in half that time by doubling 
the speed. 

Of course, to do this we had to trek night and day. For instance, 
on the first day we inspanned at 10.30 a.m. and trekked till within an 
hour of sundown ; at sundown we inspanned, and with one outspan 
trekked till sunrise ; outspanned for two hours, and on again, being 
seventeen and a half hours under the yoke out of the twenty-four, 
and covering fifty-five miles. Of course, one cannot do this sort of 
travelling for more than two or three days without killing the oxen ; 
as it was, towards the end, as soon as the yokes were lifted off, 
the poor beasts dropped down as though they were shot, and most 
of them went lame. Another great disadvantage is that one 

A Visit to the Chief Secocceni. 317 

suffers very much from want of sleep. The jolting of the spring- 
less machine as it lumbered over rocks a foot high and through deep 
spruits or streams, brought our heads down with such a fearful jar on 
the saddle-bags that we used for pillows, tliat all sleep was soon 
knocked out of them ; or, even if we were lucky enough to be crossing 
a stretch of tolerably smooth ground, there was a swaying motion that 
rubbed one's face up and down till the skin was nearly worn through« 
polishing the saddle-bags to such an extent that we might almost have 
used them for looking-glasses as well as pillows. 

At Secocoeni's kraal we had engaged two boys to carry our packs 
as far as the Fort, who, on their arrival were so well satisfied with 
the way in which we treated them that they requested to be allowed 
to proceed with us. These young barbarians, who went respectively by 
the names of" Nojoke " and " Scowl," as being the nearest approach 
in English to their Sisutu names, were the greatest possible source of 
amusement to us, with their curious ways. I never saw such fellows 
to sleep ; it is a positive fact that Nojoke used frequently to take 
his rest coiled up like a boa-constrictor in a box at the end of the 
waggon, in which box stood three iron pots with their sharp legs 
sticking up. On those legs he peacefully slumbered when the 
waggon was going over ground that prohibited our even stopping 
in it. " Scowl " was not a nice boy to look at, for his naked 
back was simply cut to pieces and covered with huge weals, of 
which everybody, doubtless, thought we were the cause. On in- 
quiring how he came to get such a tremendous thrashing, it turned 
out that these Basutus have a custom of sending young men 
of a certain age out in couples, each armed with a good " sjam- 
bock " (a whip cut from the hide of the sea-cow), to thrash one 
another till one gives in, and that it was in one of these encounters 
that the intelligent Scowl got so lacerated, but, as he remarked with a 
grin, " My back is nothing, the chiefs should see that of the other 

We spent one night at Middleburg, and next morning, bidding 
adieu to our kind English friends, started for Pretoria, taking care 
to end our first day's journey at a house where an Englishman lived, so 
as to ensure a clean shake-down. Here we discovered that the 
horse I was riding (the sole survivor of the five we had started with) 
had got the sickness, and so we had to leave him and hire another. 
This horse, by the by, recovered, which is the only instance of an 
animal's conquering the disease which has yet come under my 
observation. We hired this horse from a Boer, who, charged us 
exactly three times the proper price, and then preached us a 

3i8 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

sermon quite a quarter of an hour long on his hospitality, his 
kindness of heart, and his willingness to help strangers. I must 
tell you that, just as we were going to sleep the night before, 
a stranger had come and asked for a shake-down, which was 
given to him in the same room. We had risen before day-break, 
and my companion was expatiating to me, in clear and forcible 
language, on the hypocrisy and scoundrelism of this Boer, when 
suddenly a sleepy voice out of the darkness murmured thickly, 
"I say, stranger, guess you shouldn't lose your temper; guess 
that 'ere Boer is acting after the manner of human natiu^." And 
then the owner of the voice turned over and w^nt to sleep again. 

We had over sixty miles to ride that day, and it must have been 
about eight o'clock at night, on the sixteenth day of our journey, 
when we reached Pretoria and rode straight up to our camp, where 
we were greeted as those who had come out of the jaws of death. I 
am sure that some of our friends must have felt a little disappointed 
at seeing us arrive healthy and fat, without a sign of fever, after all 
their melancholy predictions. It would not have been "human 
natur* " if they had not. When we got to the camp, I called out to 
Masooku, my boy, to come and take the horses. Next moment 
I heard a rush and a scuttle in the tent like the scrimmage in a 
rabbit-burrow when one puts in the ferrets, and Masooku shouted 
out in Zulu, " He has come back ! by Chaka's head, I swear it ! 
It is his voice, his own voice that calls me; my father's, my chiefs ! " 
And then, afterwards, he took me and showed how he had kept 
everything secure in my tent, and said solemnly in his broken 
English : " I very glad you come back, sir; I no like to live without 
you, Inkose." Poor Masooku ! he had been dreadfully disappointed at 
not being allowed to come with me. " Surely," he said, " where my 
chief goes, th6re I should go too." There is something very touch- 
ing in the affection these fellows bear one. 

And so ended one of the hardest and most interesting journeys 
imaginable — a journey in which the risk only added to the pleasure. 
Still, I should not care to make it again at the same time of year. 

xit R. XI. 



IT is sunset in a warm summer evening of August 162 1. The 
departing light floods the upturned faces of the spectators, seated* 
on the rude benches of the Teatro del Principe, the first theatre of 
Madrid. But the stage is nothing more than a courtyard, corral^ in 
the street called Frincipe, the pit or pdtb is nothing more than 
wooden forms in the open air, the boxes are nothing more than the 
windows of the house to which the courtyard belongs. There is no 
chance of rain on this warm August evening, but a kind of light 
awning is always ready for protection against inclement skies. The 
scenic accessories are of the most primitive character conceivable. In 
this Teatro del Principe it is much the same as it was in Shakespeare's 
theatre, the Globe. There our forefathers knew the locale of 
Desdemona's murder, and that of the loves and deaths of Romeo 
and Juliet, by a big board in the background labelled " Venice," or 
" Verona." 

A comedy is being played in the Teatro del Principe, such a piece 
however as we should not call a comedy nowadays. A Spanish 
comedy of the seventeenth century was a narrative of events, mourn- 
ful or ludicrous, occurring to private persons. When a king was 
introduced, the play was called a tragedy. A tragi-comedy was the 
name given to a drama in which the hero or first galan died. A 
comedy was then the generic name for any dramatic fable. Tragic 
and comic plays, historical plays, and plays de capa y espada^ mythic 
plays, and plays de costtimbres^ poems in dialogue, and such elaborate 
compositions as La Moza de Cantaro and La Villana de Vallecasy 
all, provided they contained three acts, were called comedies. A 
piece containing but one act was an atito, as the auto sacramental or 
passion play. 

The particular comedy played this August evening, more than 
two centuries and a half ago, has a noble end, a well-disposed 
plot, a mine of eloquence, and excellent leading characters. Its 
subject is that of the wise Preacher who tried all things, and 
found that all things were vanity. Its venue is the court, in which 
school this truth is learnt the soonest ; its time the middle of the 

320 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

15th century, when the prince Don Enrique had power in Spain, 
a very woman in the wonderful inconstancy of his will. Garci-Ruiz 
de Alarcon, a youth unknown, and poor, has come to Madrid to 
find an enemy. He sees him talking to a lady of ideal beauty, her 
name Anarda. They fight, and Garci-Ruiz is about to kill Don 
Juan, when the latter invokes the aid of the Virgin. " I will not be 
discourteous to that lady," says his adversary. ** Rise ! " This piece 
of polite piety finds great favour among the mosqueteros^ those stem 
censors by whose voice a play lived or died. Anarda causes 
Garci-Ruiz to be detained — a device of nascent love — and he is 
brought before Don Enrique, son of the king Don Juan II., of Castile. 
He explains to that prince the cause of his quarrel. Don Juan had 
given him the lie — an insult which men consider most shameful, 
because falsehood is most common; Garci-Ruiz had attacked him. 
The duel was interrupted, and they do not see each other again 
till they meet on the banks of the Manzanar^s. The prince, pleased 
with this nobility of character of Garci-Ruiz, makes him his fiiend. 
In the meantime, Mauricio, a despised suitor of Anarda, is patrolling 
about her balcony. He is sent away by Ines, her servant Garci- 
Ruiz takes his place, enveloped and irrecognisable in his cloak, 
and hears his rival summarily dismissed by Anarda, who mistakes 
Garci-Ruiz for Mauricio. "Shall we kill him?" says the squire of 
Mauricio, who has just appeared on the scene and heard Anarda's 
last words. " No," returns his master; " let him live, since he is not 
loved." So ends the first act. 

The second act introduces the spectator to the Alcazar of Madrid. 
Garci-Ruiz is now high in the prince's favour. He accompanies him 
on a night expedition to the lady of the royal love. That lady is 
Anarda. While he is watching, he is attacked by Mauricio, whom he 
wounds. The prince has a satisfactory interview with his mistress, 
but reproaches Garci-Ruiz for wounding his rival. " Unhappy that I 
am," soliloquizes the prince's friend, "a favourite must, like an astro- 
loger, be able to interpret all the aspects of his prince ! I risk my 
life to please him, and he is offended. In one day I have loved and 
lost Anarda. So runs the world ! " He resolves to quit Madrid, and 
informs Anarda of his resolution. Anarda combats it, tells him she 
hates Mauricio, and asks him to solicit the prince, who is too high 
for any honourable aspiration on her part, to choose a husband for 
her from among his best friends. Garci-Ruiz understands her, is in 
heaven, and the second act closes. 

The third act shows the prince's displeasure at Anarda's message. 
He commands the recipient of his short-lived favour to quit Madrid. 

Alarcoft. 321 

Before he goes he has an interview with Julia, Anarda's friend. 
She persuades him that Anarda is really in love with the prince, but 
that there is a woman, if he had only eyes to see, as fair as she, and 
who loves him far better. Garci-Ruiz is at last made to comprehend 
that that woman is Julia. After sieveral devices of hers to lower her 
friend's character in the eyes of Garci-Ruiz, the prince commands 
her to marry Don Juan, and Anarda to many Mauricio. On the 
remonstrances of Garci-Ruiz, the prince Enrique offers his friendship 
or the woman he loves to that cavalier. Garci-Ruiz chooses the 
latter, taking Anarda in preference to all chances of worldly aggran- 
disement By this time the eyes of the spectators are somewhat 
wearied under their lowered sombrero, the only covering between 
them and heaven, for it has been a long comedy. But when the 
father of the bride asks pardon according to Spanish custom for 
its imperfections, then from steps and railings, from windows and 
garrets, from every seat and standing-place, but especially the seats 
of the mosqueteros, those arbiters of the pdtio^ bursts forth, amidst 
noisy clapping of hands and stamping of feet, one long, loud, unani- 
mous cry of admiration and applause. Was not the author Alarcon, 
and the play "The Favours of this World"? 

** The Favours of this World " is considered by Spanish critics 
one of the best, if not the best, of our author's comedies. Therefore 
this short analysis of the plot has been given. But its chief excel- 
lence lies in the diction. It is the words of Alarcon's plays rather 
than their construction which have made his name famous. Of these 
and their eloquence instances will be produced hereafter. 

Don Juan Ruiz de Alarcon y Mendoza was a man bom under 
an unlucky star. What little good fortune should have fallen to his 
share was suffered for him by others vicariously. His best plays were 
attributed to his rivals. In the prologue to the edition of the second 
part of his works published in Barcelona, the author himself com- 
plains, in terms of modest simplicity worthy of all praise, that many 
of his children had been affiliated on other parents. " The reader 
must know," he says, " that the eight comedies of my first part, and 
the twelve of this second, are all mine, although some of them have 
served to feather other birds. This is the fault of the printers, who 
assign them to whomsoever they will, not of the authors to whom they 
are so assigned, whose greatest carelessness gives more lustre than 
my greatest care. I speak, therefore, more ifor their honour than for 
mine, for it is unjust that theu: reputation should suffer from my errors 
and ignorance." 

It seems strange that Comcille, one of the cornejas who, as 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1 76 1. Y 

322 Tlie Gentleman s Magazine. 

Alarcon said, was feathered with his plumes, should have at first 
attributed La Sospechosa Verdad to Lope de Vega. A wider reading 
of Spanish comedy would have shown him that its style was far more 
nearly allied to that of Moreto than to that of the " prince of poets." 
Moreto attached himself, like our author, in preference to moral 
themes, and in both there is the same severity of treatment Nothing 
could show better the difference of Lope and Alarcon than their 
respective treatment of scandal in " The Reward of Good Speaking," 
and " Walls hear." In the first the motivo is nearly lost in a mass of 
comic incident \ in the second the dominant melody of the theme 
is supported by every variation zxidfioritura of morals introduced. 

The carelessness of his contemporaries and the man's own 
modesty have left us little biographical knowledge of him whose 
name is now written on the walls of the world with those of Lope, 
Calderon, Rojas, and Moreto. He seems to have been bom in 
Tasco, a province of Mexico, but we know not in what year, nor of 
what family, though it was illustrious probably, from the internal 
evidence of his name. He practised the law in Spain in 1611; 
about 1628 was a species of Commissioner of the Indian Council, 
and died in 1639. Such are the bare dry bones of his biography, 
with no sinews or flesh to come upon them, nor any skin to cover 
them above, over which, in all probability, no breath from the four 
winds will ever breathe, that they may live. 

Alarcon, like ^sop and Socrates, united a rare mind with an 
ungainly exterior. An unfortunate hump on his back, for which 
Nature, following her favourite fashion, had compensated with 
a protuberance in his stomach, gave employment to his rivals' 
wit. But his writings teem with moral examples as well as intellectual 
entertainment. He has mixed the useful with the pleasant, and 
would, were he more known, gain golden opinions from all sorts of 
people, and from all ages, by delighting his reader if wit can delight 
him, and at the same time improving him if he is to be improved. 
In the " Suspicious Truth," a young man endowed by nature and art 
with many engaging advantages of mind and body, negatives them 
nearly all with a monstrous habit of lying by wholesale till he makes 
even " Truth suspicious " in his lips, without any other profit or motive 
than the simple gratification of his pet passion. If, in the net which, 
through his folly, is gradually woven round him in the development 
of the plot, one part becomes unravelled, he quickly knits it up again 
by his favourite craft ; if one knot is undone by the devices of his 
friends, he is sure to reconstruct twenty in its place, and at last he is 
so hopelessly entangled as to lose for ever the lady whose love 

Alarcon. 32^ 

throughout the comedy he has constantly desired, and would have 
gained but for his greater love of leasing. 

In the composition entitled " Walls hear," in which the tender 
Don Juan de Mendoza, bearing as he does two of his names, may 
perhaps be taken for Alarcon himself, the moral failing stigmatised is 
that of evil-speaking ; and it is to be noticed that, as in the comedy 
just quoted, so in this, the habit is not arising out of a malicious but 
solely a careless character — in both cases that lust of speaking is the 
object of censure, which, sooner than not indulge itself, would malign 
the innocent without profit, as it would desecrate truth without 
reward. The hero of this play loses his love by evil-speaking and 
slandering, as the hero of the last lost his by lying. 

It seems scarcely credible that his "Suspicious Truth" should 
have been retranslated from " Le Menteur " and played to an ap- 
plauding audience in Spain who had not the slightest conception that 
the author was their countryman. That want of reputation which is 
the result of true merit was certainly the lot of Alarcon in a measure 
brimming over. Neither Schlegel, Bouterwek, nor Sismondi, in their 
light fantasias on the somewhat deep and wide theme of Spanish 
literature, have ever mentioned his name — the name of perhaps 
the greatest poet and dramatist, not excepting Calderon, of that 
Spanish literature of which these gentlemen professed to treat. There 
is a story in -^sop of a boy who, with his hand distended with 
raisins in a narrow-mouthed jar, suffered the pangs of unsatisfied 
gluttony sooner than allow a few ifaisins to fall from between his 
fingers. It is as well, perhaps, to treat a little subject correctly as 
a large one incorrectly. To form an idea of an author of comedies, 
it is not sufficient to have read two or perhaps three, and then 
without more to construct a system. It is true you gain a repu- 
tation for vast reading, but what kind of reading was it which 
induced Schlegel to call the " Misanthrope " a dissertation in dialogue 
leading to no result, with a dragging plot, and the " Tartufe " no 
comedy with the exception of a scene here and there ? 

"Unlike Calderon and Lope, Alarcon seldom copies himself; 
unlike Moreto, who imitated Molina, he never copies another." Such 
is the opinion of a Spanish critic of high authority. More than half 
his comedies are de cosiumbres or de caracilre. They contain a code 
of practical philosophy, in which the Mexican dramatist teaches us 
what to do and what to leave undone — our duties to ourselves and 
to our neighbours. To prevent our surprise at successful villainy, he 
wrote " All is Luck." In " Industry and Fortune" he shows how the 
former may conquer or neutralise the latter. He warns us, as we 


J 24 The Gentlematis Magazine. 

have already seen, that prosperity lasts but for a time, and that sorrow 
and happiness grow up side by side on the field of this earth, in "The 
World's Favours." Still, to prevent our desponding, we may read 
" Never an 111 without a Good." Models of many virtues rise before 
us in the protagonists of " How to gain Friends," and " The Lord of 
the Stars," and in those two noble rivals in " Look before you Many." 
" Crime seeks Punishment " and " He who goes 111 Ends in 111 " 
tell their own stories of the consequences of vice and guilt. There 
are a few comedies "of cloak and sword," in which intrigue has 
marked Alarcon for her own. In these we have the usual night 
scenes and balcony-watched duels, sprinkled with the language of 
Gongora. Gongorism is, however, so rare that its presence in the 
first part of " The Weaver of Segovia " is an additional evidence that 
that comedy was never written by Alarcon. A couple of horses are 
here described thus ; — 

He rode into the arena mounted on an Andalusian thunderbolt, a monster of 
fire, at one time a lance, at another a cloud : the blinded spectators considered 
him a hippogrifT ! The sun hastened to his setting. He enjoyed the privileges 
of a bird in the air. His tail was a serpent, his mane silver filigree, his breast 
a mountain ; in all respects he was like a pearl. The wind desired to be no more 
the wind, but such a charger. Next the Moor came, dancing to the sound of a 
military clangour, on the legs of a Greek palfrey — one alabaster — like a swan 
swimming over the ground. The mare was a jasmin. 

This is extremely like nonsense, but it is by no means an exagger- 
ated representation of the Gongorism of that period. Corppare with 
it a little song of a discarded lover in a piece which beyond all doubt 
is Alarcon's very own, " The Proof of Promises " : — 

My pretty mistress, for whom I weep without avail, since the more I worship 
the more I despair of conquering that demureness which is your beauty's rival ! 
In you I see Nature's custom changed. That which pleases all else displeases 
you, prayer makes you less pitiful, weeping makes you more hard, love turns you 
into stone ! 

Divine beauty made you ; I know it but too well, for I worship you as divine ; 
but why should such perfection break down Nature's statutes ? 

If I have been the slave of your loveliness — if I honour you, myself dishonoured, 
and love you, myself unloved — what law allows you to hate me also ? 

Had not " The Suspicious Truth " been written, Molifere might 
never have been known. Such, at least, is the opinion of a critic of 
some weight, of Voltaire. In the midst of a time which delighted 
in adventure, romance, and turlupinades^ Corneille dared to bring 
morality on the stage. It is possible he had never done this had he 
not read " La Sospechosa Verdad," of which we know his " Menteur" 
is little more or less than a translation. Had Moli^e not seen 
this piece, he would perhaps never have been struck with the great 

Alar con. 325 

superiority of this genre of drama over others, and so, by devoting 
himself to it solely, earned for himself an immortality. 

It is curious, as has been before mentioned, that Comeille thought 
himself indebted to Lope for his original, though written only about 
twenty years before, while Voltaire says it is uncertain whether Lope 
or Rojas was its author. Poor Alarcon 1 As Comeille had gone 
to Seneca for all that was excellent in his " Medea," to Guillen de 
Castro for all that was grand in his "Cid," so he came to an 
unknown fountain for all that was entertaining in his "Menteur," 
following Horace's precept, who gives permission to poets and painters 
of daring all things. " Whether it be a robbery or a loan I care not," 
says the great Peter. " They are our enemies ; it is permitted to 
spoil them, and I shall do it again." He kept his word in " La Suite 
du Menteur," from the " Amar sin saber k quien " of Lope, which, 
from the fickleness of public favour, though widi an intrigue more 
interesting than that of " Le Menteur," met with but little success. 
It has been said that " Le Menteur " is little else than a translation. 
The chief differences between it and Alarcon's comedy are differences 
of adaptation. For example, Don Garcia locates his lies in Peru 
and the Indies; Dorante, his French antitype, has made himself 
feared like a thunderbolt in the wars in Germany, and so on. The 
differences are precisely those between the stage " adaptations " of 
the present day and their French originals. 

We turn with sorrow to a fungous growth of literature, a huge 
mass of envenomed ribaldry, which grew and flourished on the 
bodily deformities, to which we have before alluded, of Alarcon. 

Far from keeping silence on this subject, grateful to God who had 
made them otherwise, the writers of his day, alas ! even the best of 
them, pursued the luckless poet with the most virulent and caustic 
diatribes. " Deformity," says Bacon, " is on the matter an advantage 
to rising." It may have been so with Alarcon, for his friends 
never allowed him for a moment to forget his humps. Don Juan 
Fernandez, otherwise unknown, has left it on record in verse that the 
enormous swellings on either side of this unfortunate man rendered 
it impossible to say whether he was approaching or retrograding. 
The play of words 

De donde te corco-vienes 
O a donde te corco-vas. 

cannot be well reproduced in English. 

In the National Library at Madrid are some twenty seguidillas in 
MS., in which Alarcon is made to promise to Ix)pe de Vega, " the 
master of poets," not to make any more verses, under pain of a 

326 The Gentleman* s Magazine. 

whipping. He is then compelled to compose some farewell lines 
against himself. In them he says : " I will not yield to any hump- 
back living, for I have a hump on my shoulder and another on my 
breast. Jesus I what is it with me ? " This is the refrain of his song. 
" They appear like the panniers of a false pilgrim. A friend met me 
and said : * I can't see whether you come backwards or forwards.' 
Ladies divert themselves with me as with a doubloon stamped on 
both sides. Between hill and hill peeps out my face over the horizon 
of my humps. Jesus / what is it with me ? I seem to myself a 
tortoise, the mould of a bullet-maker, and show a basin on each 
side of me in which to shave myself I am the active and passive 
voice in one ; I teach grammar with my two humps. I bear about 
my life in a little loaf, as a girl her breakfast between her frock and 
her apron. Jesus / what is it with me? I am like two bowls of clay 
out of which I drink. My person is a Janus, buttocks before and a 
rupture behind ; that which should be behind before, and my stomach 
at the back of my neck. I am a good swimmer, as I always have a 
couple of gourds with me. When I leave my house I fear some one 
will call for music. Jesus I what is it with me 1 These two cymbals of 
mine please the people. One put cupping-glasses on my shoulders 
and breast, and removing them the little humps rose. My face is an 
owl's face, my body that of a frog. Jesus ! what is it with me^ that 
all men hold me as their sport ? They say I am an ostrich, because 
I can digest the iron of their hisses for my verses. Come, Lope de 
Vega, and grant me a talent like yours." 

In a letrilla attributed to Quevedo, but as likely to have been 
written by Gongora, Alarcon is called a last for fools, a sheaf of 
parentheses, a collection of knots, a saddle turned up before and 
behind. He has a face reminding one of a dirge, and yet presumes 
to sing hallelujahs (verses for the royal festival, which Alarcon had 
been appointed to write, hinc illcB lacryma I) He is a knave with a 
chignon (mono) of bunches, and has his breast raised like false 
witness ; a bugbear for the devil himself ; a doll made up of rags ; 
a dwarf camel on tiptoe ; a head of garlic with the restlessness of a 
squirrel ; whose length is that of a spur-rowel ; who, with the help of 
high-heeled shoes, may measure himself with a weevil ; who, half 
hidden in a little hat, presumes to compare himself with another 
species of vermin. His father was never a ploughman who drove 
straight furrows, but 2^ picador ^ delighting in curvets ; his soul inhabits 
an alcove apart from the outer world. He is a paragraph, a comma, 
a tilde (~) ; he is the child of a bearded chilblain, a Don Crab, an 
Ash Wednesday {Miercoles Corvillo, on which day men bow them- 

Ahrcon. 327 

selves); he is a lettered cubit; a graduate in the sixth part of a yard, 
he keeps the town covered with red chalk like a sheep. He is the 
figure of 5 but the value of zero; the shape of a knuckle bone; a 
bag of bones, and the bell of a hermitage. But the fear of " Ohe, jam 
satis ! " prevents a continuation of this catalogue of invectives. 

Alarcon could and would certainly have replied with seven times 
heated diatribes to brocards such as those which were hurled against 
him on all sides, had not usage permitted and somewhat blunted the 
edge of these weapons of the ^^r^ pcissard. Dkcimas and epigrams 
flavoured with all the delicacy of Aristophanes, vejamenes, or goads, 
as the Spaniands call them, were cast against him by such men as 
Gongora, Montalban, Guevara, Centeno, and a host of others, many 
of them his friends, if two of a tntde can ever agree. It is strange 
what a wreath of imagery his distorted figure called up— and those 
certain verses of his which were written for the royal festival: a cause of 
invectives which is more easily understood. These are said on all 
hands, though apparently without a grain of truth, of so little value is 
public consent, to have been plagiarisms. Alarcon had jewels enough 
of his own without borrowing from his neighbours. He was in this 
respect much sinned against, as we have already seen, but without 
sin. However, for these he is called a tailor rather than a poet ; he 
he is a maker of patchwork, and it is cruel to abuse him for verses 
which are the work of so many. He is a crow covered with pea- 
cock's feathers. His verses are of various plumage, but all marked 
** humpbacked," and so on. 

Hard words, however, seem to have met with considerable discount 
in his time, and nobody even now takes them at their full value. 
Alarcon himself indulges in a somewhat free preface to his works, 
addressed to what he is pleased to call " The Rabble." " It is to 
you I address myself, oh savage beast ! for the nobility know how to 
behave themselves better than I can tell them." The preface is 
preceded by a letter to the most excellent Senor Don Ramiro. 
Felipe de Guzman, duke, marquis, count, chancellor, treasurer, 
captain, &c. &c., (the superscription alone occupying a dozen lines), 
his patron. It is painful to think of the humiliation the mind of 
Alarcon must have undergone in composing this letter of adulation 
for his daily bread, but it is one which most wise men seem to have 
been saddled with, and which induced even the pure-souled Addison 
to say in one of his prefaces, that the portrait of the griping and 
illiterate Duke of Marlborough would be of more value to mankind 
than all the moral treatises clustered together under the title of "The 
Spectator." " It is to you I speak," continues Alarcon, " O savage 

328 The Gentleman s Magazine, 

beast ! Here are my comedies; treat them according to your wont, 
not as is just, but as your whims move you. They regard you with 
contempt and without fear as having already passed the peril of your 
hisses, and can now be in danger only from infection in your dens. 
If they displease you, I shall dehght myself with the conviction that 
they are good; if they please you, I shall console myself with the idea 
that being bad they have at least cost you money." He would be a 
hardy writer who should address the public of to-day in such words 
as these. They are not, however, without a parallel. About the same 
time Desmarets wrote at the head of his comedy, " Les Vision- 
naires," the following quatrain : — 

Ce n*est pour toi que j'ecris,^ 

Indocte et stupide vulgaire; 
J'ecris pour les nobles esprits, — 

Je serais marri de te plaire. 

This is short, sweet, and to the point. But it is a question, or 
perhaps beyond a question, whether the comedy was, if played after 
it, a success. 

If the works of an author are any criterion of his disposition, 
which, however, it is pretty certain they are not, Alarcon must have had 
a heart exceedingly well-tempered. The deformed man was not, in 
Bacon's language, " even with nature." The champion of sincerity in 
" La Verdad Sospechosa," and of honest speaking in " Las Paredes 
oyen," he at one time insists on the sacred nature of a promise, as in 
" Ganar Amigos," at another he shows the noblest example of a friend, 
as in the " Exdmen de Maridos," and at all he exhibits sentiments of 
delicacy, generosity, and honour. His thoughts are great, his plans 
well concocted, his versification smooth, facile, sonorous, without affec- 
tation, a rare quality in his days, and lustrous in the white robes of 
simplicity and nature. Assertion is little without proof The beauty 
and excellence of the words he chooses, and their harmony, can 
only be appreciated by one acquainted with his native tongue, but 
evidences abound in all his plays of the other items of our panegyric 

In " Ganar Amigos," Don Fernando has killed the brother of Don 
Fadrique — ^justice is on his track, he asks assistance from the latter, 
who offers it him without knowing to whom he offers it Don Fadrique 
afterwards finds out he has promised shelter to his brother's murderer, 
but he keeps his word; and when Fernando, surprised at this magnani- 
mity, says, " The earth on which you stand shall serve my mouth as 
an altar," he answers, " Sir, arise ! No thanks for what I do for 
myself, more than for you. Have I not given you my word ? I 
obliged you when I gav^ it, but in keeping it I oblige you not, but 

Alarcon. 329 

pay my own obligation, and none obliges by simple payment There- 
fore, I said to you, * Do not excuse yourself,* for without any excuse 
of your injury, above all mitigation of your offence, it is incumbent 
on me to keep my word." Afterwards, Fadrique fights with Fernando, 
and conquers him, and when Fernando prefers death to disclosing his 
lady's secret, Fadrique exclaims : 

Rise, then, rare example of bravery and honour ! unsullied mirror of true 
nobility ! Live ! Heaven forbid a blind vengeance of mine should quench the 
light which your valour spreads around you. I am satisfied ; for though you 
know you killed my brother, you know also I conquered and could have killed 
you ; but that in forgiving you I have conquered myself. None know that jrou 

killed my brother, therefore I am not bound in honour (This Spanish honour, 

this shadow of a shade, invariably comes in to spoil the best pieces of the Spanish 
dramatists. It is a question whether Alarcon had not too great a mind to bow 
down to it, and only put it in to propitiate the vulgar) — in honour to kill you. If, 
however, the matter ever become known, then my honour must be satisfied with 
your death. So long as it is not, you are not only pardoned, but I shall be 
obliged to you if you will consider me as your friend. 

Fernando. I offer you my hand in sign of an eternal amity. 

Fadrique, Go ! Since he whom I loved more than myself is no more, I thank 
my lot which, in depriving me of a brother, has presented me with such a friend. 

In the " Verdad Sospechosa," Don Beltran, the father of the hero, 
Don Garcia, administers to him a rebuke on his favourite vice— 

Beltran, Are you a gentleman ? 

Garcia. I take myself to be your son. 

Beltran. And is that enough, think you ? 

Garcia. Yes. 

Beltran. A mistake. To be a gentleman is to act as one. What makes houses 
noble ? The noble deeds of their founders. 

Garcia. Actions give nobility, but birth also gives- it without them. 

Beltran. As one who is bom without honour may gain it, may not one bora 
with honour lose it ? 

Garcia. Truly. 

Beltran. Then if you act dishonourably you are no longer a gentleman, 
though my son. Old blood is nought against evil habits. Is your sword long 
enough to punish all the people of Salamanca, who call you with one accord a 
liar ? How can you be a slave to a vice so destitute both of pleasure and of 
profit ? Covetousness exults in the power of money ; gluttony in the food's sweet 
savour ; gaming in the hope of gain ; the robber in his booty ; the murderer in 
liis revenge. Every vice has some pleasJ»nt fruit but lying, which meets only with 
infamy and contempt. 

Combined with these moral heights of our dramatist, there is a 
low ground of witty repartee and comic situation, if not as keen as 
that of Tirso, at least more delicate. Don Garcia describes to his 
servant Tristan a bloody fight, the chief particulars of which existed, 
like those of an encounter with men in buckram suits referred to by 

330 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

Falstaff, in imagination only. After his adversary has been wounded 
in every way, his life being miraculously preserved by an Agnus Dei 
which he wore above his heart, the unfortunate one is taken home on 
a litter. This accounts for Tristan not having seen him for the last 
two days. 

Tristan. What an extraordinary adventure ! And the man is at death's door, 

Garcia, Obviously, seeing he larded the earth with his brains. 

Tristan, Poor fellow ! But stay — surely that is he coming now. 

[Garcia remains astounded and speechless.] 

Tristan. And you would tell me these little tittle-tattles ? Me ! the secretary 
of your soul. 

In the " Eximen de Maridos " Dona Ines inquires of her steward 
Beltran the characters of her suitors. 

Beltran. Here is a letter, my Ijidy, from Don Juan de Vivero. 
Ines. A short one, by my faith. ** If sorrows move you, I die.*' The " die " 
is a little common, but it has the salt of conciseness. Now, your news about 

Beltran. A gentleman of family and fortune. At one time inclined to 'gamble 
to such an extent as to pawn his paternal hereditaments to keep him in ready 
money. Reformed. 

Ines. He who has gambled will gamble. You may lower the desire, but you 
can't extinguish it. The next. 

Beltran. Don Guzman, a young 

Ines. Stay, let us read his letter. " So long as the largest planet in swift 
whirl shines upon this globe, and so long as his pyramidal rays illumine my glassy 

eyes " The man must be mad, or a poet. Strike him out, and put **past 

cure " opposite his name. Now the next. 

Beltran. Don Gomez, a counsellor with the cross of Calatrava. Mature in 
reason and in years. 

Ines. I like the matured reason, but the matured years in a husband don't 
please me quite so well. 

Bdtrdn. Don Hurtado de Mendoza. Clever 

Ines. And conceited. 

Beltran. Poor, but has expectations. 

Ines. Hopes of the death of another. That's a matter out of his power of 
calculation. He may die before him whose death he desires. 

Beltran. Seeks a place. 

Ines, Bah ! Shall my husband go about a beggar? 

Beltran. Has but one defect. 

Ines. What? 

Beltran. A bad temper. 

Ines. That spoils all. 

Beltran. But this is soon over. Like steel, a spark and all is cold again. 

Ines. Ah ! but suppose he were to throw me out of window in the first heat ; 
of what use would the calmness of repentance be then ? 

Beltran. Shall I draw a line through him ? 

Ines, Yes. I want a husband I may always love, not one I must always fear. 

Alar con. 3^1 

Beltran, Don Guillen, a man of good shape and courage. Hs^ a law* 

Ines, A lawsuit. Poor wretch ! 

Beliran, But says he has right on his side. 

Ines. Of course ; they all do. 

Beltran, Is a fair poet. 

Itus, Good, if he hasn't to make his living by it. 

Beltran. Sings well. 

Ines. Good in a bachelor, if he does it without too much asking, and will 
leave off when you want him. 

Beltran. What shall we say of him ? 

Ines, Wait, and see if he gains his law-suit. 

Beltran, Don Juan, an Andalusian. Rich, of no business, but fond of 

Ines, A failing which time and experience will cure. He must marry and 
become tame under the yoke. 

Beltran, He is already a widower. 

Ines, Out with him immediately. He who marries twice has learnt how to 
become a widower, or is a fool. 

Beltran, Count Carlos, a man of honour, noble, rich, gallant, good-tempered, 
and adorned with every grace. 

Ines, He has but one fault. 

Beltran, And that is ? 

Ines, I don't like him. 

Beltran, Only the Marquis Don Fadrique remains. You asked me to inquire 
about the defects that you were told of. They are all true. 

Ines, All true ? 

Beltran, Every one. 

Iftes, Then blot him out. But, no ! what use blotting him out of the book, 
when I cannot blot him out of my heart ! 

Alarcon has a defect common to his compatriots. He shows, 
with other Spanish poets, that want of melancholy abstraction Which 
created a Hamlet and a Faust. These children of north winds and 
mist and pine trees seem impossible conceptions under the clear 
warm sunny skies of Castille and Andalusia, LfOve and honour are 
the two chords of his lyre, continually moved by the breath of passion, 
answering each other in notes of exuberant and excessive sound. 
No lover's heart is there, but an .^tna or a fiery furnace. The object 
of his adoration is no mere mortal woman, " not too good for human 
nature's daily food," but she is a seraph, a goddess; her favours are a 
heaven, her hate a purgatory, her indifference a hell. Nay, even in 
the ordinary forms of Spanish talk, is not the lady of whom you pur- 
chase a yard of glazed calico her grace ? and do you not kiss her 
feet on leaving her august presence ? This exaggeration, which is a 
cosa de Espana and of its essence, Alarcon, however, falls into less by 
far than other writers. There is not that amount of bloodshed which 

332 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

went far towards the favour in which Calderon was held; for the 
Spanish people love a play like " Titus Andronicus," or a five-act 
tragedy at the Victoria, full of knives, guns, daggers, and all instru- 
ments of death. A proverb says they want ever}'body to die — hasta 
los apuntadores — even to the prompter. Still Alarcon could subdue 
his hand to the blood which is the life, or the death, when it was 
necessary to work in that colour; witness the weaver, Pedro Alonso, 
who is suspiciously like the Karl Mohr of Schiller's "Robbers"; 
witness the " Antichrist,'* a play in which there is a long theological 
discussion between the protagonist and Elias, and which is more 
of an auto sacramental than a comedia. Its conclusion is curious. 
The Antichrist becomes enamoured of a young girl, Sofia. In the 
last scene a beautiful being is brought to him, richly adorned, her 
walk intoxicating, her eyes fire. But she is not Sofia, though with 
Sofia's outward and visible grace. She is a demon ! The Anti- 
christ causes her to sit by his side. The other odalisques are mad 
with jealousy. Then comes the prophet Elias, and explains to 
the Antichrist that he is embracing an empty shadow. " You lie, 
false prophet," and he orders him to be led to instant execution. 
But a deus ex machind arrives in the person of an angel with a 
flaming sword, who brings the real Sofia and a host of Christians to 
the rescue. The Antichrist falls, Sofia places her foot on the nape of 
his neck, and announces the end of persecution and the eternal 
kingdom of Christianity. 

The great fault in Alarcon's pieces, from a mechanical point of 
view, is the little variety of scenery. He seems like a carefiil 
manager, anxious to utilise old properties and save the expense of 
new, but it was the fault of his epoch. In our days it is just the 
contrary; any amount of change of scene, mechanical contrivances, 
flies, flats, and floats, which would do honour to the Wizard of the 
North, — ^but as to moral end, philosophical analysis, thoughtful sub- 
stance, and poetical expression — too often realms of unoccupied 
space. Alarcon's verses are written chiefly in the metre of Tennyson's 
" In Memoriam." Nearly all Spanish plays are, it is well known, com- 
posed in a poetical form. All his women are praiseworthy — they 
present, like Shakespeare's, types. They are more varied at least, if 
not more tender, than those of Lope. The sprightly Leonora of 
" Change for the Better " is far different from the devoted Theodora of 
the " Weaver;" the amiable Flor of " How to Gain Friends," and the 
coquette Ines in the " Trial of Husbands," are unlike as the sunshine 
and the polar star. What a famous apology for women is placed in 
the mouth of one of his servants — ^not mere echoes of their masters, 
as in many Spanish pieces — ^in " All is Luck ! " 

Alarcan. 333 

"What is it we most condemn in women? Inconstancy! — Why we ourselves 
teach it to them. Love of money! — Let him who is without this fault cast the first 
stone. Being easily won ! — But how if men became tired of wooing in a week ? 
Hard to be won ! — Are they not taught by us to be cautious ? We hate them for 
being difficult, we despise them if they are easy. But if men are women's masters, and 
if without women all pleasures lose their savour, an evil festival be theirs who abuse 
or injure so fair an animal, and his also whoever says not Amen ! to this my prayer. 

In the " Chastisement of Friendship " there is a charming character 
labelled Aurora. She, and her lover Philip, in a dialogue of witching 
beauty, discover to each other their mutual love. This selection, 
leaving, it is to be hoped, a last sweet taste in the mouth of the 
reader, must conclude a notice, already perhaps too long, of a dramatic 
poet, who has enriched the world with at least twenty pieces of almost 
equal interest and excellence. 

Dionysius (a short preface is necessary to the full understanding 
of our selection), tyrant of Syracuse, is in love with his niece Aurora, 
and persuades Philip, one of his courtiers, to obtain a secret in- 
terview with her and plead his passion. Aurora rebukes Philip 
ostensibly on the ground of honour and propriety, really through 
a rising love for himself, of which she is however hardly con- 
scious. Philip comes a second time ; he has sworn to gain what she 
refused to his master ; his love at the most, he says, can but cost him 
his life. In the mean time Aurora has evolved out of a species of 
self-communion the knowledge of her own passion for Philip, and it 
is her object through the following dialogue to make him declare 
himself. •'* His pleading of another's love," she soliloquises, "inter- 
preted his own " : — 

Philip. I am come a second time, fair Aurora, as an unfortunate messenger. 
The King is all powerful. Forgive me if I offend you in saying so. For he wfio 
errs from obedience is not without excuse for his error. 

Aurora. Philip 1 I know not what to answer. 

Philip. It is a sufficient answer to see you are no longer angry. 

Aurora. It is no crime to love ; it is a natural flattery which pleases all If 
I cannot return his love, I may at least be grateful. So be not surprised if, though 
angry the first time, I have on reflection learnt it is no crime to love, since love is 
a natural flattery which pleases all. 

The words repeated by Aurora are those used by Philip in an 

earlier part of the play. 

Philip {aside). Alas ! I am undone. 

Aurora. But why do I take this trouble to excuse m3rself for doing that which 
you come here expressly to make me do ? Tell his Majesty—. 
Philip (asid^. Ah! 

Aurora. That I am highly honoured by 

Philip. What do you say? 
Aurora, You are moved, it seems. 

334 '^^ Gentleman's Magazine. 

Philip. (Aside : I can't conceal my jealousy. ) Not at aU, my lady. {Aside : It 
is my death.) I was so pleased with the good news I am to bear to his Majesty. 

Aurora. {Aside: So you change colour with pleasure. Not a bit of it I 1*11 
make you confess it on the rack, if you won't by other means.) Tell him, then, 
since you are so deeply interested in his welfare, that I will hear him this very 
night plead his own cause. 

Philip. {Aside: I cannot dissemble. I must leave her without speaking, or I 
fear my words will quit my lips and flow out as tears from my eyes.) [Going. 

Aurora. Do you leave me thus ? Stay, I didn't mean what I said just now. 

Philip. You didn't mean — 

Aurora. Say nothing to the king. I was only pretending — 

Philip. Pretending ! 

Aurora. You don't seem to be so interested in his Majesty as you were just 
now. Why, you should weep. 

Philip. You are not displeased to see me happy ? 

Aurora. A woman is never displeased when she has attained her object. 

Philip. What was your object, then ? 

Aurora. Simply the knowledge of a secret which you thought to hide from me. 

Philip. What secret? 

Aurora. One your eyes have told me in spite of your mouth. 

Philip. What have you seen in my eyes which was not on my lips ? 

Aurora. Sorrow for the king's success. 

Philip. But if my eyes have more credit with you than my lips, why did you 
answer falsely the lies of my mouth, instead of listening to the language of my 

Aurora. I have read your eyes correctly, then ? 

Philip. Would you like me to say " Yes?" 

Aurora. Can you answer ** No ?" 

Philip. I will say what you please. 

Aurora. Will you let me be the first to declare myself? 

Philip. You are trying me. How can I hope to deceive you ? 

Aurora. You have little confidence in your courage. 

Philip. But who is worthy of you ? 

Aurora. He whom I ask, if he will insist on my being the first to ask if I am 
worthy of him. 

Philip. So we may speak plainly then. Oh ! dear Aurora, I adore you. 

Aurora. Thank heaven! we've got there at last. 

Philip {oil his knees). From the very first moment I saw you, &c. &c. 

But the play docs not end well. Philip, afraid of the king, who 
threatens to employ force in his amour, discloses everything to 
Aurora's father. By a series of circumstances the king is deposed 
and Aurora's father reigns in his stead. Philip comes for his reward 
— the hand of his daughter. " No," says the new monarch, " you 
deceived your master. You revealed what you swore to keep secret. 
You are an unfaithful vassal. Off into exile! I am the king!" 

It is the half absurd, half melancholy denoHment of this piece 
which justifies its title of "The Chastisement of Friendship." 




ONE of the most interesting studies for the physiologist is 
that of endeavouring to determine the laws in virtue 
of which the so-called "freaks of Nature" are produced. The 
popular opinion regarding the production of curiosities and abnor- 
malities in living* beings unhesitatingly points to a belief that Dame 
Nature, in some fit of capriciousness, occasionally gives the rein to 
her fancy, with the result of producing some creature which differs 
widely froni its nearest kin, and which becomes a true lusus natura^ 
presenting a subject for the wonder and awe of the ignorant, and for 
the somewhat more reverent investigation of the man of science. A 
little consideration, however, shows us that from a better acquaintance 
with the conditions of life, we may very reasonably refuse to believe 
in any such ideas of the " sports " of Nature. So far from abnor- 
malities in animals and plants being produced as the result of un- 
determined " freaks " on the part of Nature, these unwonted conditions 
can be shown to result from the operation of laws as binding and as 
inexorable in their sway as those which rule the physical universe at 
large. We may not, it is true, be always equal to the elucidation of 
every problem which may be presented to us in the way of explaining 
the unusual working of the laws of life and growth; but the imperfection 
of our knowledge affords no argument against a firm belief in the idea 
that the reign of law is both universal and well-directed. Pope's 
dictum, that 

All nature is but art, unknown to thee ; 

All chance, direction, which thou canst not see, 

expresses after all the true sentiment of the scientific observer when 
engaged in considering some curiosity which, to the ordinary 
mind, simply suggests an incongruity of the most typical kind. By 
the man of science, the case is regarded as one wherein some law of 
normal development has been infringed, and in which the operation 
of some other and secondary law has prevailed to bring about the 
development of the so-called " freak of Nature." The belief in iabu- 

336 TIu Gentleniaiis Magazine. 

lous creatures may be traced to the implicit reliance placed of old in 
the capriciousncss of Nature. If Nature made double-headed monsters, 
and joined normally separate individuals in- closest union, why could 
she not produce creatures half men and half fish, and even more 
startling forms ? And, as every student of mythology may imagine, 
the belief in the development of centaurs and like beings formed a 
natural sequence of a blind reliance on the power of Nature to produce 
creatures of any form, and of the most wondrous kind. That this 
belief in the capricious spirit of Nature persisted in comparatively 
recent times may be proved by anyone who will take the trouble to 
investigate the opinions that were held in the i6th and 17th centuries 
regarding the production of " fossils." The discovery of petrified 
animals and plants in the rock-systems of the earth was regarded 
by the primitive geologists as affording the clearest evidence of 
the miraculous in the history of creation. The mediaeval philosophers 
taught that fossils were mere " freaks of Nature," and the products of 
what they termed an unknown formative instinct or power — the " nisus 
formativus " and " vis plastica " of the old writers ; whilst there were 
not wanting certain sage speculators who gravely declared their belief 
that the influence of the heavenly bodies had much to do with the pro- 
duction of these fossilised remains. We now explain the history of fossil 
organisms, as every one knows, in a much more natural and simpler 
fashion ; and, regarding the production of true abnormalities in living 
plants and animals, it may be noted that science is fast revolutionising 
the old ideas of their origin, by substituting for a belief in the vague ami 
mysterious, the knowledge of the operation or violation of natural laws. 
From the earliest times, man has taken a deep interest in the 
marvellous, and especially in that aspect which relates to the pro- 
duction of abnormal beings of his own kind. References in ancient 
literature to the existence of giants and dwarfs are by no means rare, 
and even in the records of the sacred historians we find mention made 
of beings of abnormal stature, since we are informed that " there 
were giants in the earth " in patriarchal times. Henrion, a Member 
of the French Academy of Sciences, published in 17 18 a work in 
which he argued for the great decrease in stature and physical con- 
formation generally which had taken place in the human race between 
the Creation and the advent of the Christian era. In this curious 
treatise, the learned but somewhat credulous author informs us that 
Adam was 1 23 feet 9 inches in height, whilst Eve's stature is asserted 
to have been 118 feet 9 inches and 9 lines. The exactitude of the 
Academician's calculations forms a noticeable point in the recital ; 
whilst no less remarkable is his assertion of the inexplicable degeneracy 

On Giants. 337 

which the race seems to have undergone within a comparative^ short 
period. Noah, we are told, attained a height of only 2/ feet; 
Abraham was barely 20 feet in stature ; whilst Moses is alleged to 
have measured only 13 feet in height Henrion takes care to add 
that in his opinion the advent of the Christian era prevented the 
continuous decrease which had hitherto prevailed, and records his 
thankfulness that humanity was not permitted to become represented 
by infinitesimal or microscopic specks. The ancient and mediaeval 
accounts of human giants are intermingled with much that is problem- 
atic, and in some cases absolutely fabulous. We are assured, 
however, that the height of Funnam, a Scotch giant who lived in the 
time of Pope Eugene II. — this pontiff's death having occiured iij the 
year 827 — was 11 feet ; whilst in 1509 there were discovered at Rouen 
the remains of the Chevalier Rin9on, whose skull was alleged to have 
been capable of holding a bushel of wheat, whilst the length of his 
shin-bone is stated at 4 feet. In 1705, the skeleton of a hero named 
Bucart was disinterred at Valence, the remains measuring some 23 
feet in length. These cases of huge development may very appro- 
priately be capped by the Sicilian story of a human skeleton which 
was gravely maintained to measure 300 feet in length; whilst, with the 
apparent object of giving additional veracity to the recital, this 
giant's walking-stick was alleged to have also been found, the length 
of this appendage being given at 30 feet. 

We must naturally allow much for the credulity of the age in which 
these and similar instances of human giants were not only related, but 
also believed in. But again we find that ignorance of natural objects, 
and the then infantile stage of natural science, may together be 
credited with inducing an implicit faith in such legends. Sir Hans 
Sloane, of British Museum celebrity, was one of the first to express 
his opinion that the remains described as those of human beings of 
immense stature, were not those of men, but of some huge extinct 
animals ; Sir Hans' ideas being met, in the spirit of the age, with a 
fierce opposition of a pseudo-religious kind. He was charged, 
through the expression of his opinions, with impugning the authen- 
ticity of the Scriptures, and with heresies of like kind. But those 
who thus had their beliefs " nail'd wi' Scriptur* " were rather discon- 
certed a little later by the announcement that Cuvier, through the 
exercise of his talents in the investigation of fossil remains, had de- 
clared the remains of the supposed human giants to be those of extinct 
animals, which were no doubt also giants in their way, especially 
when compared with then existing representatives. Thus fossil sloths 
and elephants of large size had been doing duty for giants of the 
VOL. ccxi.T, NO, 1761. Z 

338 The Gentlemafts Magazine. 

human race, and the teeth of human giants, which used to be so con- 
spicuously displayed in museums, were relegated to their proper 
sphere under the description of the armature of elephant's jaws. 

The consideration of some of the best-authenticated cases of 
mankind having attained in modem times a very large stature may be 
fitly prefaced by a brief account of several groups of lower animals 
in which individuals are known to occasionally exhibit gigantic pro- 
portions, since such a study of comparative development will assist us 
in obtaining some clear ideas regarding the prevalence of giants in 
lower life. In some of the lowest groups of the animal series, giant 
species, or members of species which are ordinarily of small size, 
may sometimes be developed. Most readers know something of the 
zoophytes — those curious plant-like animals, which are so frequently 
cast up on our shores, and which may be obtained in great quantities 
by dredging all round our coasts. These organisms ordinarily measure 
a few inches in length, but certainly the largest of them must shrink 
into insignificance when compared with the giant zoophyte obtained 
by the dredge of the " Challenger " off the coast of Japan, and again 
off Honolulu. This organism measures 7 feet 4 inches in height, 
its stem has a diameter of half-an-inch, and the mouths and tentacles 
of some of its included animals measure 9 inches across. This truly 
is an example of a veritable giant-race ; and it forms not the least 
curious feature of such a being to consider that we are thus presented 
with an example of a literal animal tree, consisting of numerous 
anrtnal forms, which, however, unlike the vast fnajority of their 
neighbours, grow up in the strange similitude of a plant. 

Passing by, with a mere mention, the instances of some giant sea- 
worms, some of which — such as the Nemertes of the zoologist — may 
attain a length of forty feet or more, we may note certain extra- 
ordinary and instructive cases of large developments amongst 
molluscous animals. Shells may vary greatly in size, as the visitor to 
any large museum may observe, but probably the largest known 
shells are those of the Giant Clams (Tridacna giganted) of the Indian 
Ocean, the shells of which may measure a yard and a half in length, 
and weigh 5oolbs. The contained animal may attain a weight of 
2olbs., and forms a description of oyster of tough but palatable kind. 
In the church of St. Sulpice at Paris, large specimens of these shells 
are to be seen, the valves being used for fonts. Unquestionably, 
however, the cuttlefishes constitute a group, around which our interest 
must centre in regard to the huge development of many of these 
forms, and to the curious historical and legendary aspects with which 
the question has become invested. The student of classical lore will 

On Giants. 339 

be at no loss for instances of giant developments of cuttlefishes, 
since Pliny and other writers give full accounts of some monsters 
which were alleged to exist in these early days, and to cause fear and 
terror to reign supreme in more than one maritime state. Pliny^ 
in his Natural History, relates the history of one "polypus," or 
cuttlefish, which exhibited a singular liking for salted tunnies, since it 
was said to emerge at night from the sea, and carry oflf its booty from 
the curers* stores. Another cuttlefish is described as having haunted 
the coasts of Spain, and devastated the fisheries. This creature was 
finally captured, and, as the incident is told by Pliny, the body 
weighed yoolbs., the arms surrounding the head measuring ten yards 
in length, ^lian, whose period dates from a.d. 220 to 250, relates 
the history of a cuttle, which resembled Pliny's monster in its affinity 
for cured fish, since it also made raids on the fish-curers* stores, and 
obtained its booty by cmshing the barrels in which the preserved 
meats were contained. 

The naturalists of the Renaissance were certainly not behind 
their classic predecessors in their recitals of giant cuttlefishes, and it 
becomes exceedingly difficult, or even impossible, to separate out the 
real from the fabulous in dealing with the records of some of the 
mediaeval writers. The legends of Northern Europe, for example, 
have long credited the Northern Seas with affording refuge to a large 
monster of cuttlefish-nature, to which the name of the "Kraken" has 
been applied. A worthy but credulous ecclesiastic, Eric Pontoppidan 
by name, and bishop of Bergen by office, propagated — no doubt with 
the best intentions, and with a firm belief in his recitals — many 
astonishing ideas and theories regarding the existence of the Kraken. 
In his "Natural History of Norway," published about 1754, he 
tells us that this Kraken was " liker an island than a beast," and 
suggests that the appearance of the animal, as it lay almost sub- 
merged in the water, lured unwary mariners to a dreadful fate, these 
persons landing on a moving mass instead of on a firm island. Such 
an incident is paralleled in the "Arabian Nights," in which it is 
related, if we remember aright, that Sinbad the Sailor and his com- 
panions attempted to hold a picnic on the back of a whale, under the 
mistaken idea that the cetacean was solid land. Floating islands and 
sea-monsters figure largely in Pontoppidan's work, but we cannot be 
inclined to deal hardly with the learned bishop, since he was animated 
as we must believe, and as he himself tells us, by "a desire to 
extend the popular knowledge of the glorious works of a beneficent 

Another writer and churchman, Olaus Magnus, in his " Historia 

340 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

de Gentibus Septentrionalibus," dating from 1555, also relates many 
curious tales of the Kraken and other gigantic forms ; and in the case 
of the latter writer, it is even more difficult than in the study of 
Pontoppidan's works to separate facts from fiction. But of all the 
mediaeval writers who drew largely upon imagination, Denys de 
Montfort was probably the most notable. This wTiter had infinitely 
less excuse than his contemporaries for perpetuating errors, since he 
was one of the assistants in the Natural History Museum of Paris, 
and thus claimed title to possess scientific knowledge and accuracy. 
Notwithstanding his scientific pretensions, however, De Montfort, in 
his " Histoire Naturelle G^ndrale et Particulibre des MoUusques," 
propagated many ideas of erroneous, not to say ludicrous, kind, 
regarding the occurrence and power of giant cuttlefishes. Thus, he 
boldly asserts the existence of a giant " poulpe " or octopus, which, 
as demonstrated by a most sensational engraving, he alleged to be 
capable of destroying ships wholesale, by dragging them beneath the 
waves with its arms. A three-masted barque of considerable dimen- 
sions is thus represented as being devastated by a " poulpe " of giant 
size, although it is related that the crew managed to escape destruc- 
tion by severing the monster's arms with hatchets. Nor was De 
Montfort contented with this endeavour to deceive his readers. Re- 
port says that this worthy declared his intention to make the poulpe 
destroy a whole fleet, if the story of his one entangled ship was 
accepted ; and report appears to have spoken truly in this instance, 
since, in the second volume of the work referred to, he informs his 
readers that six French men-of war, captured by Admiral Rodney on 
April 12, 1782, were engulfed by giant cuttlefishes, along with four 
British ships which acted as convoy to the prizes. The actual facts 
of the latter incident, as officially recorded, show De Montfort*s 
assertions to be utterly false. The six prizes arrived safely at 
Jamaica, but on their subsequent voyage to England were greatly 
damaged by a violent storm, in which it is needless to remark the 
" colossal poulpes " of De Montfort i)layed no part 

As a last example of a tale of giant cuttlefishes, in which elements 
of discrepancy and exaggeration are plainly discernible, we may 
select the recital alleged by De Montfort to have been obtained from 
the lips of Captain Jean Magnus Dens, a worthy navigator who 
hailed from Dunkirk, and who made voyages to the Chinese Seas. 
Being becalmed on one occasion in mid-ocean. Captain Dens, like 
an energetic master mariner, set his crew to work to scrape and paint 
the sides of his ship. During the performance of this operation, a 
giant cuttlefish was alleged to have risen from the depths close to the 

On Giants. 341 

side of the vessel, and to have carried off two of the sailors, whilst it 
seized a third with one of its arms ; the startiedcrew, however, by aid 
of hatchets and prayers to St. Thomas, their tutelary saint, succeeded 
in releasing their comrade by cutting off the intruding member. The 
length of the arm thus severed is stated by De Montfort at 25 feet, 
whilst its thickness is said to have equalled that of Dens' mizen- 
yard, its suckers being as big as saucepan lids. Probably Dens did 
actually encounter a cuttlefish, and it is possible he may have engaged 
in battle with it The sequel will show that this supposition is both 
warranted and reasonable ; but, on the other hand, there can be 
little doubt that great allowance must be made for De Montfort's 
proclivities for exaggeration, and a considerable reduction in the size 
of the aggressive poulpe may be safely bargained for. 

It is fortunate that in scientific records, written or compiled by 
men whose character as observers and as faithful recorders of what 
they saw is above suspicion, we possess evidence to show, that giants 
of the cuttlefish race do unquestionably occur in various seas ; whilst, 
as will presently be related, the examination, within the few past 
years, of the remains of several huge cuttlefish-forms has placed 
their occurrence within the domain of sober zoological fact. For 
example, Peron, a celebrated French naturalist and explorer, relates, 
in his " Voyage of Discovery," that he saw in the year 1801, off Van 
Diemen's Land, a cuttlefish which possessed a body of the size of a 
barrel ; the length of the arms being estimated at 6 or 7 feet, and 
their largest diameter at 6 or 7 inches. Quoy and Gaimard, whose 
reputation as observers and travellers of a past generation is world- 
>nde, assert that in the Atlantic they fell in with the mutilated remains 
of a gigantic squid or calamary — a kind of cuttlefish represented in 
our own seas by specimens attaining a maximum length of i^ feet 
or so — the original weight of this specimen being roughly estimated 
at 200 lbs. The learned Professor Steenstrup, of Copenhagen, relates 
that many years ago a large calamary was cast upon the Danish coast, 
the length of this specimen being set down at 2 1 feet, the tentaclas 
adding an additional 18 feet to the latter measurement. In 1854 
Steenstrup met with a second case of like kind in the shape of a large 
cuttle which was thrown ashore on the coast of Jutland ; the length 
of this specimen being at least fully equal to that of the previous 

A singular and interesting incident in the voyage of the French 
war-steamer " Alecton " was afforded by the discovery, on the 30th 
November 1861, of a giant calamary, between Madeira and Teneriflfe. 
The body of this specimen was said to attain a length of 16 or 17 

342 The Gentleman s Magazine. 

feet, minus the arms. The animal was met with floating listlessly on 
the surface of the sea, and, as became a gallant sailor, Commander 
Bouyer, of the "Alecton," gave the cephalopod battle; the har- 
poons, however, tore through the soft flesh of the animal, whilst the 
bullets fired at it simply imbedded themselves in the mass without 
doing much apparent damage to the creature. The crew of the 
" Alecton " succeeded in passing a noose around the tail-fin of the 
monster — this fin being shaped somewhat like an arrow-head — so that 
the rope was firmly retained by the fin, and considerable pressure 
could be thus made on the animal's body by pulling at the rope- 
Unfortunately, the softness of the body, together with its dead weight, 
defeated the intentions of the crew, for they succeeded in pulling 
on board the tail-fin and tip of the body, leaving the maimed giant, 
minus his tail, to disappear in the deep. The portion thus captured 
weighed about 40 lbs., and the French consul at Teneriffe, in his 
report of the matter sent to the French Academy of Sciences, relates 
that he inspected the captured portion two days after the occurrence. 
Some of the most interesting cases in which huge cephalopod s 
have been met with, however, are recorded in the narratives of British 
science. On the 25th of April 1875 a large cuttlefish was met with 
basking on the surface of the sea of Boffin Island, Connemara, by 
the crew of a " corragh," this latter being a boat constructed of hoops 
and tarred canvas, and somewhat resembling the " coracle " of early 
days. The fishermen, knowing the value of cuttle-fish bait, attacked 
the animal, and, after a hard chase, lopped off several arms, together 
with the head, the body being allowed to sink. It is due to the 
intelligence and care of Sergeant O'Connor, of the Royal Irish Con- 
stabulary, that portions of the tentacles and the beak were trans- 
mitted to Dublin for preservation in the museum of the Royal Dublin 
Society, and from the description of these valuable relics by Mr. 
More, assistant naturalist in the above museum, we extract the fol- 
lowing particulars. This specimen, like all other species of squids, 
had ten arms, two of these, named tentacles, being very much longer 
than the others, and possessing suckers at their extremities only. 
" A good part of both tentacles, one short arm, and the great beak 
entire," says Mr. More, " have reached Dublin, and there remains 
very little doubt that we have now to deal with a second example ot 
the famous Architeuthis dux of Steenstrup; " this latter being the 
appellation that the Danish naturalist gave to the specimen which, 
as already remarked, was cast ashore on Jutland in 1854. The fol- 
lowing particulars are given of the dimensions of the Irish speci- 
men : — " Tentacles 30 feet long when fresh (14 and 17 feet can still 

On Giants. 343 

be made up from the pickled pieces). A few distant, small, ^md 
nearly sessile (imstalked) suckers occur at long intervals along the 
inner surface of the peduncle," or stalk of the tentacle. The expanded 
termination of the suckers, '^ measuring 2 feet 9 inches in its present 
shrunken state, is occupied in the centre of the palm by two rows 
of large stalked suckers nearly i inch in diameter, 14 in each row; 
an alternating row of 14 smaller suckers (half an inch in diameter) 
occupies the margin on each side of the palm . . . These outer suckers 
are each armed with a denticulated (or toothed) bony ring of some 
28 teeth, pointing inwards. . . . The short arm is quite spoiled for 
examination ; all the homy rings are gone, and the sudcers them- 
selves are scarcely represented. This arm measured 8 feet in length 
and 15 inches round the base when fresh. The beak has a stroi^, 
wide tooth about the middle of the edge of the inner m^dible (or 
jaw), and a much narrower notch on the outer miandible on each side. 
The head and eyes were unfortunately lost." We have thus sufficient 
details afforded even by the imperfect and cursory examination of 
these remains, to assure us that a cuttlefish, which might well be 
termed a veritable giant of its kind when compared with its ordinary 
neighbours, was actually captured and despoiled. At Dingle, in 
Kerry, some 200 years ago, a gigantic cuttlefish was stranded. This 
latter is described as having been 19 feet in total. length,«.Kbilst the 
size of the animal is stated to have equalled that of a large horse. 

In October 1873 two fishermen met with a large cuttlefish which 
was floating quietly near the eastern extremity of Belle Isle, Concep- 
tion Bay, about nine miles from St John's, Newfoundland. Thinking 
the floating mass was the remains of a wreck, the men grappled it 
with a boathook, the formerly inert mass at once waking up into life, 
and appearing as a huge cuttlefish, which threw its two long arms 
across the boat, these arms, however, being at once severed with an 
axe. The animal then moved off into deep water, ejecting in its 
retreat a quantity of the inky fluid which these creatures elaborate by 
way of a protective secretion, capable of being quickly difhised in the 
surrounding water, and of thus serving as a cloak of darkness under 
which escape may be effected. A portion of one of the amputated 
arms is preserved in the museum at St. John's ; and Professor Verrill, 
of Yale College, U.S., estimates, as approximate and comparative 
measurements, the length of the body at 10 feet, its diameter at -2 feet 
5 inches, whilst the length of the long tentacles, is set down at 32 
feet, and that of the head at 2 feet Another specimen was captured 
in Logic Bay, Newfoundland, in November 1874, 3 photograph of 
the head and arms having been taken of this cuttlefish. From the 

344 ^^ GentlemarCs Magazine. 

representation of this cuttlefish we may gain an idea of its gigantic 
size; and the actual measurements fully confirm the opinion formed 
regarding its great dimensions. The body exceeded 7 feet in length, 
the tail fin was 22 inches broad, the two long tentacles were each 24 
feet in length, the eight short arms were each 6 feet long and 10 
inches in circumference at the base; whilst the number of suckers 
was computed at 1,100, and the great eyes measured 4 inches in 
diameter. Professor Verrill has also given details of the stranding of 
another giant of this class at Grand Bank, Fortune Bay, Newfound- 
land, in December 1874, this locality being apparently specially 
favoured in respect of its cuttlefish visitors: the abundance of cod and 
other fishes adapted for cuttlefish dietary affording a ready explana- 
tion of the latter fact. The total length of this last visitor to the 
Newfoundland shores is given at 40 feet, the long arms making 
about 26 feet of this measurement, whilst the largest suckers were 
about I inch in diameter. 

It would thus appear to be not only a settled fact that cuttlefish 
giants are actually developed, but that these monsters belong to new 
and distinct species, and may therefore be regarded, in the opinion of 
many naturalists, as presenting us with literal races of giants. It 
must not be forgotten that the dimensions of ordinary cuttlefishes 
could have afforded no grounds for the supposition that such gigantic 
beings actually existed; and the discovery of the monsters in question 
formed, therefore, the only and surest test of the correctness of those 
opinions which held that a substratum of probability and truth lay 
concealed beneath the exaggerated tales of the older naturalists, and 
of the mariners of bygone days. 

From the cuttlefishes to the true fishes is a transition of an easy 
nature both in a popular and in a zoological sense. Amongst the 
fishes very large individuals are developed in a normal and natural 
fashion — such dimensions as 20 or even 30 feet in length being 
common in many sharks. But with other groups of fishes, gigantic 
individuals belonging to species the members of which are ordinarily 
of small dimensions are frequently developed, these latter instances 
being typical cases of giants arising from amongst their normal- 
sized brethren. For example, amongst the flat fishes specimens of 
very large size are by no means of unfrequent occurrence. The turbot, 
possessing an average weight of 6 or 7 lbs., has been known to 
weigh 70 lbs., whilst the halibut, which attains an ordinary length of 
4 or 5 feet, has been foimd to measure 7 feet in length. A specimen 
of this fish was captured on the coast of Caithness in February 1877, 
which measured 7 feet in length, 3^ feet in breadth, and i foot in 

On Giants. 345 

thickness, its weight being 331 lbs. £ven the familiar cod may 
attain very large proportions. At Lochiel Head, on the west coast 
of Scotland, says a correspondent of the " Oban Times," a large cod 
was recently captured, the length of the fish being 9 feet 2^ inches, 
and its circumference 3 feet 2^ inches. One can well understand the 
truth of the remark appended to the statement, that some of the oldest 
fishermen declared that they had never seen such a monster taken 
before. The conger eels may sometimes be developed to a size in 
which they approach the dimensions of very large snakes, whilst those 
elongated fishes, the " tape " or " ribbon fishes," attain a normal length 
of 10, II, or even 13 feet : and the writer has recently put on record 
a case in which a specimen attained the enormous length of 60 

Reptiles frequently attain large dimensions, but more commonly 
as a result of normal growth than of spontaneous and unusual 
development ; and some extinct birds, such as the dinomis of New 
Zealand, must have exceeded their neighbours in size to as great an 
extent as the reported human giants of old overtopped their nearest 
relations. This is particularly the case with one species of dinomis, 
the leg bones of which, found in a fossil state, are described by Owen 
as being equal to those of the elephant in size, whilst the total hei^t 
of the bird must have exceeded ten feet Extinct species of sloths 
and armadillos bear a similar relation to their living neighbours. 
The Irish elk of recent deposits overtops the stateliest living deer; 
and the extinct mammoth, in respect of its size and bulk, might 
fairly rank first amongst the elephant kind. 

Man, as the head of the animal series, presents us with not a few 
interesting examples of large or even extraordinary physical develop- 
ment, whilst the subject of human overgrowth assumes an additional 
interest in the light of an inquiry into the peculiarities of character 
which attach themselves to rarities in the shape of giants of the human 
race. Of such tall persons it is noticeable that by far the greater 
number belong to the male sex. Giantesses, in fact, are but rarely met 
with in proportion to the number of giants of whom due record has 
been preserved. In the reign of Edward III., Long More, or Mores, 
an Irish giant, attained the height of 6 feet 10^ inches. Queen 
Elizabeth had a Flemish porter who attained the height of 7 feet 6 
inches; this height being exceeded by John Middleton, or the "Child 
of Hale,'' as he was called, who was bom in 1578, and who measured 
9 feet 3 inches. C. Munster, a yeoman of the Hanoverian Guard, 
who died in 1676, attained a height of 8 feet 6 inches; Cajanus, the 
Swedish giant, who was exhibited in London in 1743, attained a 

346 TJie Gentleman s Magazine. 

height of 9 feet. The most celebrated of living giants are the famous 
Captain Bates, a native of Kentucky, who attains a height of 8 feet ; 
his wife, nee Miss Anna Swan, who was bom in . Nova Scotia, also 
measuring 8 feet in height. Many of our readers will remember the 
exhibition of the two latter persons a few years ago in Loudon. 
Chang-wu-gon, the Chinese giant, is also still alive ; this tall Celestial 
measures 7 feet 9 inches in stature. 

The details of giant-life exhibit many curious features. Contrary 
to expectation, and against the spirit of the old legends, our 
modern giants are, for the most part, persons of a singularly mild 
disposition, and exhibit, as a rule, the most amiable of tempers. 
Nature in this respect, indeed, appears to preserve a wonderful 
and admirable balance of power in imbuing persons of great phy- 
sical development with an equable temperament; whilst * the 
dwarfs and pigmies of our race are usually inclined to exhibit a 
disposition the reverse of benevolent or mild. Probably the only 
giants of past days concerning whom details of a thoroughly 
authentic character have been preserved are Patrick Cotter, alias 
Patrick Cotter O'Brien, and Charles Byrne, both individuals 
hailing from the sister island. Curiously enough, there is preserved 
in the museum of Trinity College, Dublin, the skeleton of a third 
Irishman, named Magrath, whose case attained some notoriety 
in consequence of a Doctor Campbell's statement, in his work 
entitled " A Philosophical Survey of Ireland," that Magrath's growth 
was caused by Bishop Berkeley's experiment of feeding the lad. 
There exists little or no foundation for this statement, which probably 
arose from the fact that Magrath, having at the age of 16 attained a 
stature of over 6 feet, and being poorly fed, presented a fit case for 
the exercise of the kindly bishop's charity. He accordingly caused 
Magrath to receive a liberal diet for about a month, this treatment 
restoring the overgrown lad to health. At his death Magrath measured 
7 feet 8 inches. 

In the " British Magazine" for 1783, the death of Charles Byrne, 
one of the giants just mentioned, is duly chronicled. From tiiis 
source we learn that Byrne measured exactly 8 feet in height in 
August 1780; whilst "in 1782 his stature had gained two inches, 
and when dead his full length was 8 feet 4 inches." His death, sad 
to relate, is alleged to have been caused by excessive drinking, " to 
which," says the writer in the " British Magazine," " he was always 
addicted, but more particularly since his late loss of all his property, 
which he had simply invested in a single bank-note of ;^ 700. In 
his last moments," continues the narrator, " he requested that his 

On Giants. 347 

remains might be thrown into the sea, in order that his bones might 
be removed far out of the reach of the chirurgical fraternity ; in con- 
sequence of which," we are further informed, " the body was put on 
board a vessel, conveyed to the Downs, and sunk in twenty fathoms 
water." Byrne died, it is necessary to add, in Cockspur Street, 
Charing Cross, at the age of twenty-two. The statement that the 
remains of the giant were buried at sea is quite erroneous, since, 
after all, the " chirurgical fraternity," represented by the famous 
John Hunter, contrived, after much trouble and the expenditure of a 
considerable sum of money — stated at ;^Soo — to obtain possession 
of the body, and the visitor to the magnificent Museum in LincolnV 
inn- Fields may have the pleasure of beholding the skeleton of the 
once famous Byrne occupying a place of honour in the osteological 
department It is interesting to note that Byrne appeared on the 
stage in 1782, at the Haymarket Theatre, in the summer pantomime 
of " Harlequin Teague, or the Giant's Causeway"— a title strongly 
suggestive of Byrne's prominence in the production. 

The history of Patrick Cotter, who was bom at Kinsale in 1761, 
shows that giants are by no means exempted from the cares and 
worries which beset ordinary existence. His parents were poor per- 
sons, of ordinary stature ; and his father leased him for exhibition to a 
showman at eighteen years of age, for a period of three years, at the 
rate of ;/^5o per annum. Arriving at Bristol, Cotter demanded some 
extra remuneration for himself ; and the showman being disinclined 
to grant his request. Cotter refused to allow himself to be exhibited, 
with the result of being incarcerated as a debtor. His case, however, 
being made known to some benevolent person, Cottdi* was liberated, 
by the contract between his father and the showman being declared 
to be illegal ; and, proceeding thereafter to exhibit on his own 
account, he realised the sum of ;^3o in three days. 

Cotter adopted the name of O'Brien in order to strengthen the 
fiction, set forth in the bills, that he was " a lineal descendant of the 
old puissant King Brien Boreau," and that he possessed, " in person 
and appearance, all the similitude of that great and grand poten- 
tate." His height was stated at " near nine feet," although a memo- 
rial tablet in the Trenchard Street Roman Catholic Chapel, Bristol, 
informs us more truly that his stature only exceeded " eight feet 
three inches." Cotter died at Clifton on September 8, 1804, having 
realised a modest competence by exhibiting himself, and having 
secured, we are told, the respect of the entire community by his 
well-regulated conduct. Like his countryman B3niie, Cotter was 
exceedingly anxious that his remains should not fall into the hands 

34^ The GentUmafis Magazine. 

of the anatomists, and gave directions that his grave should be built 
in with bricks and seciu'ed with i]:on bars. 

As we write, the newspapers contain the intelligence of the death 
of the " Buckinghamshire Giant," a person named William Stevens, 
who merited his appellation of giant rather from his immense 
weight than from his unusual stature. He died at the end of March, 
1877, at the age of 49 years, at the " Five Arrows," Waddesdon, near 
Aylesbury. He went to reside at this tavern some four years ago, at 
which time he weighed 18 stones. The account relates that from 
that time his life was spent in eating and drinking, and in exhibiting 
his increasing weight to interested observers. At his death he 
weighed 35 stones, and measured 6 feet 8 inches in height. Most 
readers will express surprise that the fatal issue was so long delayed 
in this rather melancholy case, in which an abnormality in physical 
development had operated decidedly to the prejudice and injury of 
the unfortunate subject. The case in point well illustrates, in fact, 
what the reporter terms the " extraordinary taste " of a section of the 
public in seeking for the abnormal through a sense of mere, and 
certainly not strictly commendable, curiosity. And, despite the 
interest with which the physiologist must regard such cases, it cannot 
be denied that they present a reverse aspect which offers by no 
means pleasant food for reflection to the student of poor humanity 
at large. 




I ATTEMPTED the other day to give in these pages such an 
account of the Mafia and the Mafiosi of Sicily as should enable 
an English reader to form some fairly accurate notion of a state of 
society as different from anything that exists, or indeed that has 
ever existed in these realms, as are the ways and customs of savage 
tribes. And I now purpose to do as much for Naples, its Camorra 
and Camorristt, 

In England our largest cities are those in which the results of an 
advanced civilisation seem to be found in the most notable propor- 
tion ; and people are apt hence to be impressed with an idea that 
in the natural course of things the biggest city will be the 'most 
civilised. But the rule, if any such rule can be supposed to exist at all, 
is very signally reversed in the case of Naples. Naples is by very far 
the largest city of Italy, with its population of nearly half a million ; 
but in point of civilisation, whether the leading elements of the com- 
plex idea so named be sought in moral or in physical characteristics, 
Naples must beyond all question be held to stand at the bottom of 
the list. That Milan and Naples should be two cities belonging to 
the same country, and inhabited by men of the same nationality, is 
truly surprising, and must strike any observer as a somewhat dis- 
heartening measure of the amount of uphill work to be done before 
Italy can to any good purpose be spoken of as an amalgamate and 
homogeneous whole. The fact is, that in Italy one travels from 
civilisation to barbarism, as one goes from the north southwards. 
Each stage of the way brings the traveller among a less educated, 
less well governed, less well-to-do, less thrifty, more ignorant, more 
idle, more dirty, more shiftless population. 

Naples has been said by someone to be a paradise inhabited by 
devils ; and some other observer, Mr. Forsyth, I believe, remarks 
that, if it be so, they are assuredly very merry devils. And he 
adds : ** Even the lowest class enjoy every blessing that can make 
the animal happy — a delicious climate, high spirits, a facility of 

350 The GentlemarCs Magazine. 

satisfying every appetite, and a conscience which gives no pain. 
Here," he continues, " tatters are not misery, for the climate requires 
little covering; filth is not misery to those who are bom to it; and a 
few fingerings of maccaroni can wind up the rattling machine for the 
day." This passage, from the pen of one who is no mean observer, 
and which is quoted in Murray's hand-book as specially calculated 
to give the arriving stranger an accurate idea of the people he has 
come amongst, is a curious instance of the degree in which travellers 
may be deceived by assuming that what meets their eyes, or the 
surface of the scene presented to them, may be accepted as a genuine 
sample of the life and civilisation around them. " Kven the lowest 
class enjoy every blessing that can make the animal happy ! " How 
little the writer knew what he was talking about, and how little the 
holiday visitor to Naples, to whom this rose-coloured account is pre- 
sented by the guide-book as genuine information respecting the popu- 
lation among which he is sojourning, dreams of the truth, will be seen 
by the following statements made by an observer of a very different 
calibre; one well-known to the present writer, and for the conscientious 
accuracy of whose descriptions he can venture to pledge his own 
faith. The statements in question, it should be observed, have not 
been compiled from information more or less carefully gathered from 
other observers, official or non-official, but are the result of personal 
examination on the spot, and give facts which the relator of them 
witnessed with his owp eyes. 

" The population among which the visitor is sojourning," I wrote 
in the last sentence, but the phrase is scarcely a correct one ; " above 
which he is sojourning" would describe more accurately the state of 
the case. The populations in question — tens of thousands of them — 
are battened down beneath the surface life which the visitor sees. They 
are under foot Like the soil from which these swarming thousands 
spring, and to which they speedily return in quickly consumed gene- 
rations, the social subsoil is honeycombed ! like that also, it is volcanic. 
There are eruptive and explosive forces beneath — absolutely, phy- 
sically beneath the feet of those strolling in the laughing sunshine 
among the "merry devils" above, even as there are beneath the 
vineyard-clothed slopes of Vesuvius. 

" To understand aright the truth of this matter," says the observer 
I have referred to, " it is absolutely necessary to go and see >vith 
one's own eyes the places the poorest families inhabit, and the manner 
of their lives. The people in question form an enormous population, 
which is divided into various categories, each of which has character- 
istics, customs, and miseries of its own. The * fondaci,* as they are 

Naples. 351 

called, in which these people live are the abodes of a class so 
miserable, that the women of the people, when quarrelling and 
insulting each other, throw in their teeth the appellation ^funnachera !* 
inhabitant of the 'fondaci,' as the deadliest insult that can be 
uttered. These * fondaci ' have mostly a'passage, without any door 
communicating with the street, and a little yard, both in a horrible 
state of filth, which lead to a vast number of habitations, far worse 
than dog-kennels, all of which, and more especially those below, are 
without air or light, and reeking with damp. In these dens thousands 
of persons dwell, so brutified by misery, that they are more like 
animals than men. In these horrible places, which it is almost im- 
possible to enter by reason of the stench produced by filth accu<' 
mulated immemorially, there is generally nothing to be seen but a 
heap of straw destined to serve as the bed of an entire family, males 
and females all heaped together. As to any necessary accommo- 
dation, there is no question of anything of the sort ; the street and 
the yard suffice for the purpose." Instances have been cited to me, 
in which these women have not known their own names, or the 
number or names of their children ! 

In two or three of the " fondaci " visited, the women ply the 
miserable trade of making matting or mending straw chairs. In the 
others one sees nobody at work of any kind, but only naked and 
unoccupied spectres. In many of the "fondaci" I saw women 
sauntering about the yards with nothing on them but a shift, which 
was falling from them in tatters. From no one of these places is 
there absent some horrible den of the most abject and loathsome 
prostitution. The worst of these " fondaci " are in the wards called 
"Pendino," of the "Port," and of the "Market." They have all 
of them some name — " Barrattari," "Tentella," "St Crispin,* 
" Scannasorci " (kill-rat), " Divino Amore" (the Divine Love 1), 
" Abate," " Crocefisso," " Degli Schiavi," etc. 

There is another separate and well-defined class known at Naples 
as the " Spagari," or makers of string, workers in hemp. Many of 
the caverns in which these people lived were shut up by the authori- 
ties when the cholera was raging at Naples. But the observer to 
whom I have referred writes thus : — " Yesterday I found one of the 
so-called ^r^/Z^^i" of the * spagari.* The entrance does not announce 
the horrors that are found within. The place is like the catacombs of 
St. Januarius, save that it is smaller and more horrible. One has to 
carry a light; and only here and there, at long distances, there are 
apertures opening, two into the Francavilla gardens, the others into 
flamp yards. All this cg,vem is thickly strewed with beds, a little 

352 TJte Gentleman s Magazine. 

more distant one from the other than in a hospital. For the most 
part they are big beds, capable of containing several persons. It is 
impossible to describe the misery and the filthiness of the place. 
The darksome kennels, the horrible cavern and its brutalised inhabit- 
ants, all seem to accord with each other and to form a world apart 
which can go on no otherwise than it does. There is, however, a 
certain scale of better and worse among the inhabitants. Near the 
few windows where some ray of light enters the degree of misery is a 
trifle less. But in the further remoteness, where no light comes, 
where it is impossible to move without a light, the dreadful misery is 
beyond the power of words to describe. And it is singular to observe 
that, even here, those who are a little better off look down upon the 
more completely wretched. In the grot in question twenty-five 
families, about one hundred persons, live. In the immediate vicinity 
of the windows the rent paid is ten lire a month. Where there is no 
light it goes down to twenty-five sous. The inhabitants of this place 
have not so much the appearance of wretchedness as of being abso- 
lutely brutalised. When the sun shines they all crawl out, like ants, 
and stretch themselves in the sun. 

" All the population of the place thronged about me," says my 
observer, "begging for pity, complaining that they were obliged 
to remain there without light, without air, and without any medical 
assistance. When they are ill they are utterly abandoned, and die 
or get carried to the hospital. Often the cavern is flooded by the 
rain. I have been assured that no priest ever thinks of penetrating 
these horrible abodes of misery and despair." This, it must be 
owned, is very unlike what everybody testifies as to the conduct of 
the clergy of the Church of Rome elsewhere. Save at Naples, I 
never heard of any haunt of human misery so foul, so repulsive, so 
dangerous, that the Roman Catholic priest did not find his way and 
carry his ministrations thither. • It is, I am assured, not so at Naples. 
The miserable thousands who thus live and breed below the surface 
at Naples seem to be utterly abandoned by the ministers of religion 
as well as by all others ! 

" I visited another place," says the same observer, " a vault below 
the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, with walls which shut in the sides, and 
form thus a strange place of refuge. Many persons were there, work- 
ing at making twine, mostly the daughters of foremen of the craft, 
who did not sleep there. The terrible and most piteous misery of 
this place moved me to the very bottom of my heart. There was a 
poor widow of little over thirty, who had traces still of what once had 
been good looks, and who had Ave children, of whopi th^ eldest was 



Naples. 353 

twelve and the youngest three. All of them were handsome. Once 
this femily had been in comfortable qjrcumstances, for the father had 
been a workman who received good wages; but he had been killed 
by lifting a weight too great for his strength. His widow, who had 
been a * spagara ' in her youth, had returned to her old trade, by 
which she gained fivepence a day, except when the weather is so cold 
that she cannot move nimbly enough her stiffened fingers, and thus 
fails to complete a full day's work. The children turn the wheels for 
other women, and thus gain each of them a halfpenny, with which 
they buy dried chestnuts, and thus support themselves till the evening, 
when the ten sous earned by the mother are received, and they pro- 
cure some other food. They all sleep in a comer of this place on a 
few dried leaves. They do not dream even of having any covering 
to throw over them. At night they huddle up in a heap together, 
one on the other, and tremble with cold. Light they have none. 
The woman showed me the rags which covered them, gnawed in 
many places by the mice and rats, which in the dead of the night run 
over their bodies. Then the terrified children scream and cry; and 
the mother, beating with a stone against the wall, strives to frighten 
away the rats which she cannot see. That woman," says the visitor 
to this terrible place, in conclusion, " must be good and honest, for 
the thought that most tormented her was the future of her children. 
She fears that the eldest, now twelve years old, can hardly fail very 
shortly to become a criminal.'* 

The miserable beings, who thus live in a condition which is simply 
a disgrace as well as an ever-present danger to this huge over-grown 
city, do not, as it would seem, furnish the material from which the 
bands of brigands, which infest the Neapolitan districts as badly as 
those of Sicily, are formed and recruited. The abounding ranks of 
town criminals draw their recruits, no doubt, from the " fondaci " and 
the " grottoes," and the vaults ; but it may be supposed that the half- 
starved and hectic population of such places do not possess either 
the jjhysical vigour or the courageous energy needed for the life and 
calling of a brigand. The Neapolitan brigand — by the word Nea- 
politan it will be understood the kingdom and not the city is here 
intended — the Neapolitan brigand is a man of the country. And the 
causes which produce Sicilian brigandage are not altogether the same 
with those that give rise to the same phenomenon in the Neapolitan 
provinces. In the latter, hopeless wretchedness would seem to be the 
predisposing cause. The Neapolitan brigand has not the same seduc- 
tive career before him that his fellow on the other side of the Straits 
may promise himself. The frequent demand for the services of the 

VOL. CCXLI. NO. 1 761. A A 

354 '^^ Gentleman! s Magazine. 

latter as an assassin, whose assistance is required to support the 
claims and social status of "gentlemen," has the effect of elevating 
his position, not only in the eyes of the world in which he lives, but 
in his own, almost to the level of one of the mediaeval " condottieri," 
or captains of free lances. But the Neapolitan brigand is but a 
highway robber, who pursues his vocation in gangs. And there 
appears to be sufficient ground for coming to the conclusion that 
want and misery are the causes of the adoption of a criminal life by 
most of them. Those who thus shoulder the rifle, and take to the 
woods and the mountains, are doubtless not more destitute and 
miserable than thousands of their fellow peasants. But of course 
different temperaments are differently acted upon by the same 
circumstances. The more timid and more easily cowed man con- 
tinues to endure the death in life of constant half starvation, and to 
till, with the small remaining strength he has, the fields he was bom 
on, till he is laid beneath the surface of them. The bolder spirit, he 
in whom the power of reaction and resentment is most strong, 
becomes a brigand. Save in that the doing of deeds of blood 
brutalises, there is little reason to think that the wretch who takes to 
the mountain is a worse man at all than he who remains in the field. 
Both are devout followers of a religion which not only has as little 
moralising effect or capability as Thuggee, but is actively mischievous 
in providing for the total extinction of all natural sentiment of right 
and wrong. Both are ignorant of all things save the animal require- 
ments of their daily lives. 

Here are a few notes as to the manner of life led by the Neapolitan 
peasant, taken mainly from returns made to Parliament at different 
times ; for if nothing has been done for the healing of these social evils, 
there has been an immense quantity of talking about them. Some 
parts of the practice of Parliamentary institutions has been found 
difficult of imitation by the Italians, but the art of getting rid of any 
difficult and disagreeable matter by naming a commission to inquire 
into it has been learned with the utmost perfection. A report presented 
in 1863, as the result of personal inquiry into the social condition ot 
the Neapolitan provinces, tells us that the explanation of brigandage 
must be sought in the predisposing causes, and specially in the social 
condition and economic circumstances of the peasantry, which are 
found to be worst exactly in those districts where brigandage is the 
most common. The proportion between the two phenomena is 
found to be constant. Thus, in the Abruzzi — the northernmost 
provinces of the former kingdom of Naples — brigandage has become 
very much less prevalent, from no other cause whatever than that the 

Naples. 355 

starving peasant has there the opportunity of going to find work 
on the not too distant Roman Campagna. He brings back fever 
with him, if he does not, as is frequently the case, leave his bones on 
those fatal fields ; but he finds bread there 1 And this possibility, 
this yearly emigration to the deadly Gampagna, has sufficed to keep 
the Abruzzi free from brigandage. 

The fact that the life of a herdsman, or shepherd more probably, 
on the Roman Campagna is sought for and accepted as a boon, and 
as a means for escaping from greater evils and from the home life 
offered them by their own province, is a sufficiently eloquent testi- 
mony to the misery of the latter to those who have any knowledge, 
h6wever vague, of the conditions of the former mode of existence. 
The fact is, that in their homes the steady, persistent, and hard 
labour of a long day — for the peasants of these mountain provinces 
are not characterised by the laziness which is to so remarkable a 
degree the bane of more fortunately circumstanced districts of Italy ; 
and the Abruzzi labourer employed as a navvy in works far from his 
native mountains has often been found a most efficient labourer — 
the severe labour, I say, of a long day in the fields not only is. insuffi- 
cient to give them anything but dry bread to eat, but gives them that 
of a quality which the same Parliamentary Commission reports to .be 
" such as a dog would not eat," and of this wretched aliment an 
insufficient quantity. 

Another member of the Commission testifies his astonishment at 
finding in the populous cities of the N-eapolitan provinces two 
classes of persons only — the proprietors of the soil, and the utterly 
destitute cultivators of it ; the " galantuomini," as the former class 
are called, with a revoltingly significant cynicism, and the " cafoni," 
as the miserable serfs are termed by themselves and by their masters. 
And the hatred between the two classes is described as profound, as, 
indeed, how should it be othenvise ! " It is," exclaims a member of 
the same Commission, " a continuation of the middle ages beneath our 
eyes ! " " It is with astonishment," as another very able inquiry writes, 
who has examined these social abysses conscientiously and with an 
earnest determination to labour for their amelioration— Professor 
Villari, who is well known among ourselves as the author of the best 
existing life of Savonarola — " It is with astonishment that the stranger 
observes in these southern provinces many large cities inhabited by 
the families of a few rich proprietors, for the most part connected 
together by intermarriages, and a multitude of peasants possessing 
nothing. With the exception of one or two Government officials, 
there are no other classes of citizens. The country is without 


iS6 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

inhabitants. The tillers of it form the populations of the cities. 
There is no town industry ; there is no citizen class ; there is no 
public opinion to act"'as a restraint on those proprietors, who are 
the absolute masters of that multitude which depends on them for 
bread, and which, if abandoned by them, has absolutely no means of 

The same author remarks elsewhere, with a profound perception 
of the conditions under which social phenomena exist, that it must 
not be forgotten that when a society has assumed a certain direction, 
it is no longer in the power of a few generous and good men to alter 
it. An atmosphere is formed which all breathe ; interests strongly 
bound up together are created which violently and powerfully resist 
all change. Nor is it an unfrequent case to see those very classes in 
whose interest it is proposed to institute a change, resist it from 
ignorance and from mistrust, and make common cause with their 
tyrants against those who would fain be their benefactors. It is a 
phenomenon which occurs every day, and it is necessary to remember 
it. Nor must the inquirer forget to take into account the results, still 
continuing their evil social influences in those vast but remote pro- 
vinces, which arise from the fact that the condition of things described 
was desired, and fostered for many generations, by the late Bourbon 
Government, " which reduced this class antagonism to a system, and 
made it the base and foundation of its power and authority." A little 
consideration of the necessary results of such a system will not fail 
to suggest to the inquirer " the moral and social disorder," as Signor 
Villari says, that must be the consequences of it He speaks further 
of having had various cases brought to his knowledge in which 
persons of the ruling caste had shot down peasants, and had had no 
difficulty in arranging the matter with the Government (the late 
Bourbon Government, of course, is meant), which in truth did all that 
in it lay to foment the hatred of class against class. It was, indeed, as 
Signor Villari remarks, the negation of God and of all morality ! 

Now it will be seen at once that brigandage, which has arisen out 
of, and is maintained by, such a state of things as this, must be much 
easier to deal with than the brigandage of Sicily. Of course the evil 
cannot be extirpated without such large and deep-reaching social 
reforms as must necessarily be of slow and gradual operation. But it 
would not be difficult to indicate the direction in which improvement 
must be sought. Obligatory lay education ; a judiciously managed 
promotion and encouragement in certain districts of emigration, from 
which the people are by no means averse, and a well planned poor 
law and system of poor relief, would do much towards the desired end. 

Naples. 35> 

The main difficulty attending the latter measure would arise from the 
all but impossibility of preventing the workhouse treatment from 
being superior to that to which its inmates were accustomed in their 
homes. Much also might doubtless be done by a system of loans 
from the State to proprietors for the purpose of improving their lands, 
and introducing a better, more productive, and at the same time more 
costly, system of cultivation. But it is absolutely necessary in the 
mean time that the existing brigandage should be repressed with an 
earnest intention and determination which no Italian Government 
has hitherto shown in dealing with it. At present the deterring effect 
of punishment may be said not to have been tried at all ! When a 
brigand band comes to a fair fight with the forces of the Government, 
one or two of the gang may be killed, and it is probable that the 
lives of one or two of the soldiers will also be sacrificed. But, except 
under such circumstances, no punishment is in truth and in fact 
inflicted on the captured brigand. I am not alluding now to difficulty 
of conviction. That is of more special application to Sicily. The 
brigand with half a score of murders on his record is duly convicted, 
and condemned to imprisonment, perhaps for life. But nothing is 
more certain than that such a sentence has no deterrent effect what- 
ever. In the first place the brigand has no belief — and he is abun- 
dantly justified in having no belief — in the perpetuity, or even in the 
very long duration, of his incarceration. And in the second place, if 
he were perfectly well assured that he should be kept in prison for 
the remainder of his life, the prospect would in no wise seem very 
terrible to him. To estimate, to realise, to feel the terrors of such a 
prospect, a very considerable degree of the power of imagination is 
needed. But of this the Neapolitan brigand has not the slightest 
spark. He has been leading a very hard and fatiguing life, suffering 
much from weather and homelessness, hunted by the troops from 
one covert to another, often in imminent danger of starvation, and he 
is tired of it. To be housed and lodged in decent comfort for a while, 
to sleep in tranquil security, undisturbed by the necessity of being 
ready to spring to his feet to defend his life at any moment, to be 
supplied without thought or care on his part with food which is 
luxurious and abundant in comparison to the Neapolitan peasant's 
fare to which he has been accustomed, seems to him a by no means 
undesirable opportunity of rest. It has no terrors for him, no deter- 
ring force whatever. 

There is only one threat that society could hold out to him that would 
have— //if^M. Nature has taken care that he should imderstand the 
terrors of that I And he would be very strongly deterred from doing 

3^58 The Gentletnan's Magazine. 

that which would, with considerable probability, expose him to ^em. 
But this the Italian Government will not inflict. The present Govern- 
ment, while crimes of bloodshed are multiplying around it in a truly 
alarming proportion, is eagerly forcing on the country a bill for the 
formal abolition of the punishment of death ; the only object of which 
would be to give the criminal classes a yet more comfortable assurance 
than they have already, that they run no danger to their own skins 
in giving the rein to their instincts of vindictiveness and brutality. The 
only object — for as to effecting any other change in present practice 
it is quite needless, the penalty of death being never inflicted. It is 
asserted that the " feeling of the country " is too strong against the 
infliction of capital punishment. But there was, only the other day, 
a curious indication of the inexactitude of such an assertion. A man, 
guilty of a murder perpetrated under circumstances of especial bru- 
tality, was sentenced to death (there is not the smallest chance of the 
sentence being carried into effect) ; and the large number of people 
of the lower classes who thronged the court on hearing the sentence 
broke out into vehement applause and the most violent demonstra- 
tions of satisfaction. But the truth is that " the feeling of the public " 
is not the guide by which legislators should shape their decisions in 
such matters. Unquestionably there are cases in which it is unwise, 
and sometimes even impracticable, to enforce legislation in strong 
opposition to the wishes and convictions of the great majority of the 
population. But the case in question by no means belongs to any 
such category. Italy, in truth, has not yet acquired the capability of 
uttering or in any way manifesting any real expression of the opinion 
of the country on any subject whatever. It is a capability only 
acquired by very much more advanced communities, and needs not 
only organs educated to the expression of opinion, but ears — so to 
speak — trained to the task of hearing such utterances without error. 

There is one other punishment which would in its degree have a 
deterrent effect on criminals of the class in question — flogging. But 
the " feeling of the country " — that is to say, of a few doctrinaires 
with pet theories, backed by the outcry of the brawling city popula- 
tions, who dislike anything that tends to exercise the coercive power 
of law — would be equally against any such form of punishment. 

Now, from what has been said of the state of the lowest social 
stratum in the city of Naples, it will be easily understood that the 
now famous " Caraorra " would readily spring up and flourish in such 
a state of things. The " Camorra," as a systematised institution, is 
nearly, if not entirely, confined to the city of Naples. It is a mistake 
to suppose that any organised society of the name, or for the pur- 

Naples. 359 

poses served by it, has ever existed. It is in this respect like its 
congener the "Mafia" in Sicily. Like the "Mafiosi," the "Ca- 
moristi " are those whose audacity, whose , unscrupulousness, whose 
overbearing insolence, and whose address enable them to impose on 
and tyrannise over their fellow-citizens. Though any dangerous 
amount of resistance to its behests, and specially any treason to its 
recognised laws on the part of those immediately subject to them, 
might probably be punished by the knife, the " Camorra '' is not so 
intimately or so fi*equently connected with deeds of violence and 
murder as the Sicilian "Mafia." That even unconscious rebellion 
against its unwritten code may, however, sometimes meet with 
capital punishment, may be gathered from a curious instance which 
occurred within the present writer's knowledge, some years ago now, 
and when the Bourbon Government was still outraging mankind 

There was an American gentleman visiting Naples who, like other 
strangers, had had his pocket-handkerchief firequently stolen' firom his 
pocket. Being bent on finding some remedy for this evil, which he 
knew well it was in vain to seek from any of the agents of the Govern- 
ment, he ingeniously sewed a large and strong fishhook into his 
coat pocket in such fashion that any hand rapidly withdrawn firom 
it was sure to be hooked. And he caught his thief accordingly. The 
fishhook did its duty ; the American felt the tug at his coat tail, and 
turning as quick as lightning seized and held the pickpocket by the 
wrist. He was very proud of the exploit ; and we all began to think of 
sewing fishhooks into our pockets. But when that American, within 
a week [after success, was killed one night in the street by a knife 
artistically driven to its hilt into his heart, we changed our minds ! 

For my own part, after losing some three or four silk handker- 
chiefs, I adopted the plan of canying a very cheap cotton one ; and 
my pocket was no more picked. And this I suppose was considered 
to come fairly within the rights of property j for I continued to walk 
the streets of Naples despised probably, but immurdered ! 

The fundamental conception of the "Camorra" seems to rest on 
a careful and well-considered application of the French dictxun, 
" Dans le si^cle oil nous sommes, on ne donne rien pour rien," to 
the whole body politic, and to every detail of human life. If it is in 
my power to benefit you in any way directly or indirectly, it is right 
that you should pay for it. A further position, which enormously 
increases the field of action, is by strict process of logic evolved 
from the first. If it is in my power to injure you, and I abstain firom 
doing so, I in fact confer a benefit on you by so abstaining, and it is 
right that I should be paid for thait 

360 The Gentleman's Magazine. 

You recommend a servant. The value of your recommendation 
is calculated by the amount to be given in the service in question, 
and you must be paid by the person recommended accordingly. You 
are aware that a servant has been employed, or is about to be em- 
ployed, on the strength of a false character. You abstain from giving 
the employer any intimation of the fact, and are entitled to recom- 
pense calculated as above. Or you are aware of some fact which 
would prevent the man from being employed, or are in a social posi- 
tion which would enable you to destroy his chance of obtaining em- 
ployment, and abstain from exercising your power ; payment calcu- 
lated on the same basis must be made. It will be seen that the 
application of the principle admits of almost indefinite extension. 
For example, it would be almost if not quite impossible for any 
person to keep a stall, say, in a vegetable market or a fish market, if 
all the other stall-holders were determined to treat the individual in 
question as a black sheep, and impede him or her from exercising 
the trade in question by all possible means. If, therefore, 1 and my 
friends can by a word cause all the people using the market in ques- 
tion so to behave towards you, it is I who by abstaining from saying 
that word enable you to get your living, and I must be paid accord- 
ingly. A very small and easily following development of the consi- 
derations governing the position will show that a person who depends 
on my word for the possibility of earning his living, cannot afford to 
disregard my wishes in any little matter respecting which I may 
manifest them to him. 

Still the poor fish or vegetable stall-keeper — to continue the use 
of the example cited — does not fail to profit in some degree by the 
" Camorra," which compels him to pay for leave to live, as above 
described. If I permit — or abstain from preventing — A. B. to hold 
a stall in the market, he must pay me for the premium. But the 
amount of the payment in all justice must depend on the value of the 
profits derived from the stall in question. It becomes my interest, 
therefore, that such profits shall be as large as may be. But Prince 
Montimagnifici's house steward, who makes an enormous profit by 
robbing the Prince right and left, knows very well that a word of 
mine could cause that great man^s valet to open his master's eyes to 
that circumstance, and must therefore, besides paying me for not so 
acting on the valet, take care that the cook goes for his fish or his 
vegetables to the stall in question. 

Here is another case in which a stranger at Naples was itnroduced 
in an amusing manner to the mysterious " Camorra." The stranger, 
a young Italian from the north, had ordered a suit of clothes. The 

tailor delayed so lo 
tion in the position 
the clothes should ] 
paying for them. ] 
trouble to a, Neapol 
says that he thinks 
and will see to it. 
you have to do is ti 
you can wait no mc 
four hours or the cl 
finished in the time 
not sent. The sti 
afterwards, howevei 
all right about the i 
sent them. I am 
must make my old 
you would have h, 
I suppose so," " W 
" Yes, to be sure ; 
the friend in need t 
and the northerner 
dans le siich oii n 
another of the thou 

Here is anothei 
the city, we will saj 
Theatre. You take 
the stalls is, say, ei 
stall, and are told 
return to your inn 
you are told that 
will be ten francs, 
that this also is " c; 

The English p 
case of Mr. Hind 
better and cheapei 
murdered — how gi 
perpetrator of the 
covered, to obtain 
again was due to " 

It is not too mi 
from top to botton: 
and Catnorristi in 

362 The Gentleman! s Magaxine. 

known to be such, abound, and walk the streets with no less insolent 
a swagger, or rather, with a more assured insolence of manner, 
because of that knowledge. Like the trunk of the elephant, the 
" Camorra " is equally fitted to grapple with the biggest things and 
persons, and to deal with the lowest and smallest. There is not a 
wretched prisoner in the swarmi